17 Feb What has Lent got to do with it?
In the Jesus’ Way there are different seasons that run parallel to the ‘regular’ seasons of the year. Ash Wednesday the 18th February this year, marks the beginning of Lent, that season in the Jesus community that leads to Easter. During these weeks we are invited to pause, to step back from our doing, our business and our habits and to get some perspective on how we are living, speaking, being and loving. In some parts of the Christian church people fast from certain foods during Lent as a way of marking this season.
Jesus claims that the whole living enterprise is bound up in love – our whole person being in love with the divine, loving those around us – including the stranger – and loving ourselves (eg: Mark 12:28-34).
This year at Richmond Uniting we are exploring and taking up Lenten practices and we are seeking to do this in relation to where we are at. For example if we tend to focus on loving others and not loving ourselves, during Lent we might make a commitment to caring for ourselves intentionally, perhaps by going for a walk, or napping, each day. If we tend to spend a lot of time thinking about ourselves, our Lenten practice might be to ‘fast’ from a TV show or certain foods or drinks, or even limit our access to social media, in order to spend time attending to others. If we actually leave little time for communing with the divine, during Lent we might engage with some new ways of praying, for example through making art or through meditation. Some of us will also be putting aside money during Lent, perhaps saved through our Lenten practices, and this will be given to people who are facing disadvantage in our global world.
This ancient season of Lent offers a fresh gift to us in 2015 – the gift of time and reflection – and we are all invited to receive this gift.
Every blessing for the journey into Lent.
Rev. Dr Sally Douglas