"To me, having Easter without Lent is almost like giving birth to a child without the preceding nine months of pregnancy," a Georgia minister says. "It's still miraculous and it's still wonderful, but if you don't have all that came before it, it's almost like it's lacking in depth or that you miss something there."
Lauren Colwell, associate minister for spiritual formation and families at First Baptist Church in Savannah, talks about how her church observes Lent, and what the Lenten season signifies, in a new Skype interview with EthicsDaily.com.
Skype Interview: Lauren Colwell from EthicsDaily on Vimeo.
"Lent is a time of focused reflection and contemplation that we set aside for those 40 days" between Ash Wednesday and Easter, says Colwell, who joined the staff of the historic congregation in 2009.
This year, Ash Wednesday is Feb. 13; Easter is March 31.
Even in church life, with the buzz of activities, it can be difficult to slow down.
"It's about sitting down and being still and thinking about yourself inwardly, and then all that is going on around you, and taking that time out," Colwell says.
"We have done many different things at our church to celebrate, or think about, the Lenten season," she says. These even include seemingly mundane changes - like printing the order of worship and church newsletter in purple (the liturgical color of the season).
"It's simple and subtle, but it's a reminder that this is different," says Colwell.
Colwell also mentions some of the church's special programming in previous years, which has included having congregants depict the Stations of the Cross in silhouette images.
"Those are often thought of as a more Catholic representation of Lent, and yet we incorporated it into our Baptist traditions as well," she says.
"The season of Lent is an important season," Colwell adds. "This is a time where we really can sit down and reflect and focus on that still, small voice that we talk about."
EthicsDaily.com offers a Lenten resource, "Eyeing Easter, Walking Through Lent: A Bible Study with Global Baptists," which offers a special emphasis on the witness and work of Baptists across the planet.
Lesson writers include Martin Accad, Daniel Carro and Emmanuel McCall. Click here for a free sample lesson and more information.
Watch the interview with Colwell at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily/skype-laurencolwell
Learn more about Colwell and First Baptist Savannah at www.fbc-sav.org
Watch other EthicsDaily.com Skype interviews at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily