Lent 2024: Go deeper with God

Dear brothers and sisters,

Greetings to you in this sombre season. Through the centuries the church has observed the 40 days leading up to Easter as a special time to focus on God, called Lent.

A path to finding extra space in our lives to listen to the Spirit is often practiced through austerity by changing a routine or abstaining from a habit. The space this opens up can in turn be spent “going deeper” with God.

When I consider how I experience God revealed in the world, I think of the global family – of Mennonite World Conference (MWC). With our Anabaptist-Mennonite brothers and sisters around the world, we celebrate with each other in worship and we walk with each other through pain and hardship.

As I write this, I think of our Mennonite brothers and sisters in Ukraine who have been living amid war for 10 years and invasion for the past two.

I think also of those suffering amid civil war in Myanmar, regional violence in Ethiopia and gang violence in parts of Latin America.

We feel helpless to help, but we offer them our prayers and our solidarity through their times of hardship.

It is often through hardship that we discover the unity Christ prayed for the church. Our disagreements – from mode of baptism, to worship styles, to theological explanations of ethical living – do not disappear, but we find the grace to be identified as brothers and sisters even with those with whom we disagree.

This season of Lent, as your ascetic practices make space for God, we invite you to go deeper with the global family by supporting MWC. The work of MWC is to affirm that we are one body of Christ around the world. Living out unity amid our mosaic of diversity, we proclaim the kingdom of God by resisting the trend to polarization and by affirming “In Jesus Christ, we are one family.”

In Christ,
Henk Stenvers
President Mennonite World Conference

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Lent 2024 EN