At the beginning of Lent, Christians reflect on the theme of Repentance — turning away from wrongdoing, and reorienting our minds, our lives, and our world toward the God who calls us to be transformed in the image of Christ. This week we observe Transfiguration Sunday and Ash Wednesday. We also honor the repentance of Bartolomé de las Casas, a slaveowner who became an activist for the equal rights of all.
Last week, we celebrated Epiphany, commemorating the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus. On the Sunday after Epiphany each year, Christians celebrate the Baptism of the Lord — also called Theophany — when Jesus, as a grown-up man, chose to be baptized in the River Jordan by the great prophet known as John the Baptist.
In this week’s service, we commemorate the Baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we talk about the importance of taking action and making sacrifices in our lives to follow what we sincerely believe to be God’s will. We also celebrate the life of Anne Hutchinson, a courageous religious leader in colonial America who faced trial for heresy.