Stephen Higgins joined HTAC for worship for the first time at the beginning of Lent and he kindly sent us these reflections on Facebook--thought they were worth sharing!
"The church that I grew up in didn't talk much about Lent. But in our neighborhood most of our neighbors were Catholic families that came from different European and old California families, so Lent was very present. They practiced Lent by giving up something that "they loved" they said, which seemed a bit odd to me when I was a wee little kid, but I also thought it was very neat too. What was more fun that Lent was, that I would get to go to their church, if they came to our church. Us neighborhood kids thought it was great to share our buildings too because each had different hiding places after mass or church service! Today and over the last few decades I’ve witnessed the simple aspects of faith's journey that go beyond the hiding places in buildings. I find myself that it was time for Lent and to be deeply engaged with Father’s desires for His Church and my life within the body of Christ.
Over the last 20 plus years, I've learned that the purpose of Lent is a vital part of our personal/corporate journeys with Father. It's a time when we think deeply about who we are in Christ and what He has done for/through us. It's a time for asking Him to search us and let us know where we have "back-slidden." It's a time set apart for drawing closer to Him and continually being restored.
Ash Wednesday (March 5) marked the first time to be with you as a family--thank you. We as a family are enjoying this six-week time of intentional reflection, expectation of renewal of Kingdom joy - Thank you HTC!
For me personally, I will tell you that during the coming six weeks, I've decided not only to give something up ... but to also give something away. I'm going to begin each day asking the Lord to show me someone in need. Then, I'm going to do whatever I can to meet that need. It may be a word of encouragement, it may involve financial resources ... it could be anything. My hope is that God will bring some extra-special opportunities my way and that I will experience His joy from living generously.
Let's face it, all of us in the U.S. are bitten to some degree by the bug of covetousness (you know #10 in the Ten Commandments): it seems to come in waves, simply wanting more and more of what we have enough of already. I know every time I have left our country to work, I’ve returned home being more frugal (a good Scottish term) and at the same time more generous. But Lent is reminding me therefore, a daily dose of generosity is a great antidote to for me, when I get bite by the bug of wanting more (plus less tiresome that flying 18 hours to another country). This year it just seems the Lenten season is more precious because of this family we have found. It is also the perfect time also for me to focus on a part of my life that doesn’t have to leave country to see that it isn't quite where I need to be.
Thank you to all we have met and will meet at Holy Trinity; you’re very welcoming.
Cheers – the Higgins"