“Sound the alarm” (Joel 2:1). Declare an emergency. So begins the season of Lent. In Lent the church hears that things are not well, that much has gone wrong and that now is the time to face the trouble. In Lent Jesus says “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34). In Lent the church enters into a forty day journey of catechesis, of formation in the way of God that it often forgets in favour of the ways of the world.
Again this year University Hill Congregation responds to the emergency that is sounded in Lent by listening each day for God’s Word in our time and place. From Ash Wednesday through Easter Sunday there are forty seven days on which to read forty-seven texts. Forty seven hosts from the congregation have each responded to the call to listen to a single text and to testify to the Word that they hear from God in it. The hosts are children and elders. Some have known the stories for a life time, others are very new to the faith. Each offers their humble witness as an invitation to you to join in hosting the text and listening for God in your own life as well as in our life together. Their offerings of testimony can be found online in this year's lenten devotional - "Declaring an Emergency".
We are grateful to God for such a company of witnesses in such a time as this and pray for the courage not only to hear the alarm but to act accordingly.