Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Joy in Christ, a way of life

Lent 1 - Baptism of Jesus


Lent should not be a trial. It should leave us invigorated, refreshed.


VIDEO here


The invitation to a holy Lent that we hear on Ash Wednesday is an invitation to re-ground ourselves in the basic habits and disciplines of the Christian life.


There’s really nothing extraordinary about the invitation. It’s a call to repentance and reconciliation, to abstinence and self-discipline, to study and prayer. It is a reminder that none of us gets out of here alive and that the context of our lives is not simply our own too-short existence, but the eternal presence of God. These truths are the bedrock of Christian faith, and Lent is a time of remembering that and of recalling ourselves to these practices. Lent is not intended to be a punishment – it is not meant to be a trial. Rather it is meant to be a refreshment, like plunging into a cold spring or river. We should come up gasping – and invigorated, renewed.


We live in a time of extraordinary anxiety and stress, such as we have not seen here since World War II. Large and powerful forces that are beyond our control are shaping our world in ways that we find difficult. Long-standing truths seem to be evaporating, and stable public institutions seem to be wobbling. There is a great temptation to turn away, to seek comfort in private pleasures, or to abandon what we’ve known and done in favor of new things of uncertain benefit.


I’d like to talk about our times this Lent, to reflect with you about what’s happening and why. And more importantly, I’d like to talk about what we might do. What does faith tell us about a response to our times? What does faith invite us to do?


The invitation to a Holy Lent, and more importantly, the baptism of Jesus on the first Sunday in Lent, suggest that the fundamental thing we are called to do is to keep the faith, to continue in the ways we have been taught, to continue worshiping, praying, loving and forgiving. To keep on keeping on. This is not the first time the followers of Christ have confronted difficult times. Let us begin this Lent by returning again to the things we have been taught, the things Jesus showed us to do. Let us look again to our Baptismal Covenant.