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Taize and Ash Wednesday

Posted on February 12th, 2013

On Wednesday night this week, at 7 pm, New Life will host a Taize, Ash Wednesday service. I have been praying and pondering this possibility for over eight years. In the summer of 2004, Geri and I, along with our four daughters, spent a week in Taize, France with a monastic community of about 90 men. About 5000 young people from Orthodox, Protestant and Roman Catholic backgrounds also participated.  I learned3 simple, powerful truths that week: 1. There is only one church and it consists of people from all three main branches of Christianity – Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant. Brother Roger, a Lutheran pastor, founded Taize during World War 2 to be a prophetic sign in the midst of the Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant Christians killing each other on an unimaginable scale. What unites us is a personal faith in Jesus Christ and a commitment to Scripture as outlined in the Nicene Creed.  This truth, known only in my “head”, became a “heart” knowledge to me during that week. 2. Young people long for silence. To participate in morning, midday and evening prayer with 5000 young people – many of whom attended churches vastly different than mine – was very powerful. To sit in ten minutes of deep silence during those Offices was even more incredible. Many of them had traveled by bus and train for over 24 hours for such an experience. 3. A little goes a long way. This small community attracts over 250,000 young people each summer. Their impact is global. Their music and unique songs are used around the world. We too will enjoy their music this Ash Wednesday night at New Life at 7 pm. If you are able, I invite you to come to. And be ready to participate in a very unique, transformative experience with God.

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