Anglican-Lutheran leaders offer Lent reflections

Evening Prayer (May 13) Photo by: LWF/Johanan Celine Valeriano
Evening Prayer (May 13) Photo by: LWF/Johanan Celine Valeriano

North American Anglican and Lutheran leaders offer ecumenical reflections

(LWI) - Lutherans and Anglicans in North America have joined to to offer a series of Lenten reflections. Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and National Bishop Susan Johnson from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCC), together with the Presiding Bishop of the US-based Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, and Archbishop Fred Hiltz of the Anglican Church of Canada, prepared reflections for Ash Wednesday, the five weeks in Lent, Palm Sunday and the Triduum (the holy days from Good Friday to Easter Sunday).

Truth and racial justice

“For several years the heads of communion of the Lutheran, Anglican, and Episcopal churches In North America have been meeting together annually, sharing in spiritual life, fellowship, and partnership in mission and ministry. Out of these relationships, we have shared Advent or Lenten devotions with our churches, drawing upon our common faith in Christ and our respective contexts,” Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton of the ELCA says.

This year, we wanted to explore the challenges and urgency of truth-telling and racial justice – and it only seemed fitting to do so as we walk with Christ to his death on a cross, and with Mary to the empty tomb.
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, ELCA

“This year, we wanted to explore the challenges and urgency of truth-telling and racial justice – and it only seemed fitting to do so as we walk with Christ to his death on a cross, and with Mary to the empty tomb. There is much that we struggle with in common, and much that we can learn from each other – and we do so focused on the One who has taken on the sin of racism once and for all,” Eaton adds.

Each reflection in the series which is called Set free by truth begins with a four Bible readings from the Old and New Testaments, a Psalm and a Gospel. These are followed by a reflection by one of the bishops and a prayer.

 anglicannews

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry of the US-based Episcopal Church, National Bishop Susan Johnson of the ELCC, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton of the ELCA, and Archbishop Fred Hiltz of the Anglican Church of Canada. Photo: anglicannews

In the first of the reflections, for Ash Wednesday (14 February), Bishop Elizabeth Eaton writes about the need for racial equity in churches, saying: “We have been claimed in baptism, buried with Christ in a death like his, to be raised with Christ in a resurrection like his. We have already died the only death that really matters, and yet… We do not recognize the full humanity of others.”

Confess sins of racial arrogance

The theme is continued by Archbishop Fred Hiltz who writes that “Lent is a time for us to be especially mindful of any and every arrogance reflecting the thought that some peoples are superior to others. I speak of the sins of racism, ethnic cleansing, and government-enforced policies of assimilation designed ‘to remake others in our image’.

“Lent is a season to confess these sins against our brothers and sisters. It is a time to correct attitudes, words, and actions, blatant or subtle that perpetuate them. It is a time to forge new relationships grounded in our baptismal vow to strive for justice and peace among all people.”

Download the reflections

 

Adapted from a story published by Anglican News.