​May we find worthy goals to occupy our days so that we reach the end of a day and can celebrate what was accomplished, what seeds were sown, or what person we encouraged.  

​​We lighten our loads by tossing out the things in our backpacks that weigh us down and aren’t ultimately useful. We rid ourselves of distractions that keep us from our true calling. We focus on the words of our teacher and seek to let them guide our words and deeds toward mercy and love for neighbor.

​​Lent is coming. We might do well to prepare. We have a whole month before this important season begins on March 6th, with Ash Wednesday repentance and acknowledgment of our broken nature and mortality. Lent is a journey we walk with Jesus toward the cross and resurrection.

Give some thought as to how you will approach Lent this year. What will draw you closer to the heart of God? What will lighten your load so that you may, in the words of the song from Godspell “Day by Day”:

​These things I pray our Lenten preparations may empower us to do with the help of the Holy Spirit.

The Rev. Ken Albright


  • Choose to make water your only beverage for 40 days to help Blood: Water Mission provide clean water for people in Africa who don’t have a choice. Bloodwater.org has more information. (I’ll be doing this one!)

  • Traditionally, Christians abstained from eating meat during Lent, so consider joining millions of fellow Christ-followers around the world in this fast.

On the journey together,

Pastor Ken

St. Thomas Lutheran Church

To see thee more clearly,

Love thee more dearly,

Follow thee more nearly,​

Day by day

What might you do to prepare for the journey of Lent this year? Consider these suggestions from the blog of author Rachel Held Evans:


  • Choose a psalm like 51 or 139

  •  On the beatitudes (Matthew 5: 3-12

  •  On the Prayer of St. Francis 

  •  On the Lord’s prayer  

​Dear Disciples at St. Thomas:

​​​Establish a Ritual

  • Choose a saint or a Christian you deeply admire to “guide” you through the Lenten period. (Consider St. Francis of Assisi, Mother Theresa, or St. Theresa of Avila). In addition to studying her work and meditating on her prayers, learn about her life. Journal through the experience.

​​We prepare ourselves for important things. I remember when Charlotte and I (then newly-weds) were preparing to spend the next summer hiking on the Appalachian Trail. What in the world could we do to prepare ourselves for what we would encounter—bears, snakes, thunderstorms, injuries and more? We planned our shipments to local post offices where we could pick up food and supplies, and mail back stinky clothes for our parents to wash (God bless them!). We prepared by looking at topographical maps and determining how far we would hike to the next shelter. We even took trial hikes in the mountains with our packs stuffed with 60 pounds of gear. It still wasn’t like being out there in the wilderness, but it did help that we had done some things to get ourselves ready.

Ask yourself

  •  Is there a habit or sin in my life that repeatedly gets in the way of loving God with my whole heart or loving my neighbor as myself? How do I address that habit over the next 40 days?

  •  What practical steps can I take to carve out time for daily meditation? (Unplugging from TV, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, etc. may be the single best way to carve out some extra time)

  •  What spiritual discipline do I need to improve upon or want to try?