Challenge Yourself this Lent




“The issues raised by the Ten Commandments are ten of the most essential challenges we face in our lives” (from The Ten Challenges by Dr. Leonard Felder).


This Lenten season, Church of Our Saviour with the Rev. Reese M. Riley, retired rector and Hannah Riley’s father, is offering a special reflection series that explores issues raised by the Ten Commandments. Every Wednesday at 11:30 am on Zoom, during the Noonday Healing Service, Fr. Riley reflects on a different commandment or commandments. As always, the Wednesday Healing Service uses the noonday daily prayer format from the Book of Common Prayer and follows the daily lectionary readings for the season of Lent.


Using Dr. Felder’s book The Ten Challenges as a framework, Fr. Riley dives into one or two commandments each week to show how the commandments can be applied as a Lenten practice in our modern context. So far, he has discussed covenants, idolatry, and keeping the Sabbath.


Next Wednesday, March 23, Fr. Riley will reflect on what he calls a “heavy hitter,” the fifth commandment: Honor your father and mother. He will talk about aging parents and difficult relationships with family, as well as how to manage grief and loss when those relationships are broken. In his book, Felder writes about how the fifth commandment can allow “you and your parent (or child) to connect and establish some enjoyable ways of being together” while keeping boundaries. Fr. Riley will discuss practical ways to keep this commandment and still maintain those boundaries as a Lenten discipline.

The following week, on March 30, Fr. Riley will cover the third (You shall not take God’s name in vain) and ninth (You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor) commandments. On April 6, he will discuss the sixth commandment (You shall not murder). Finally, on Holy Wednesday (April 13), the series will wrap up with eighth (You shall not steal) and tenth (You shall not covet) Commandments.


Each reflection in the series stands alone, so participants can join one or all. It is not required to read or purchase the book. The Healing Service concludes with time when attendees can ask for prayers and receive a blessing for loved ones or themselves. If you missed a reflection, the video presentation of each reflection is available to view on the COS website at https://www.cosepiscopal.org/lent – videos from the previous week are uploaded each Tuesday.


Come join this lovely intentional service and consider adding the “Ten Challenges” to your Lenten spiritual discipline this season.