The Gospel of Luke holds many reminders for us that even the Son of God found solace and rest in being able to step away from the busy, the ministry, and the routine in order to find time to pray (Luke 4:1-2, 14-15; 5:16; Luke 6:12-13). Even in the midst of a vibrant and active ministry, the actions of Jesus remind us that we too, can give ourselves permission from the many demands and pulls on our time and talents, to find a quiet place to be intentional in our prayer ministry.
There have been many discussions about how our current time of pandemic can make it feel like we are in a desert; the guidelines on who we can see and how we see them are vastly different than most of us have known in our lifetimes. The empty church buildings on Sunday mornings, the intentional distance from friends and family, and likely changes in how or where we engage our day to day employment.
St. Matthew’s Anglican Church in St. Albert, once again, has created a desert space in our sanctuary. The usual engagement would be that the church would be open for lunch hours during the week and just sit and be: no conflicting commitments, no long to-do lists, and no prescription on how to engage the space. There would also be a weekly service in the evening in which, after the reading, attendees would be invited to spend some contemplative time in the desert. This year, we opted to move this engagement online with a weekly Tuesday night service at 7:00pm.
However and wherever you find yourself this Lenten season: whether in a desert of your own or on a pilgrimage for life-sustaining streams of water, or somewhere in between, know that the invitation is always open to come to the desert in an intentional way. Our services stream to our Facebook page: St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, St. Albert. Know that, even in light of the restrictions and guidelines, this is one desert where you will never, ever be alone.
Submitted by Angela Bokenfohr, St. Matthew’s Anglican Church