Each Ash Wednesday, we are invited to the observance of a holy Lent: setting apart these 40 days to re-orient toward God and away from those things – attitudes, habits, unhelpful practices – that separate me from God. If I try to observe a holy Lent, I will be pushed to change, and change is hard. I naturally resist it, but once again I make the commitment to try to view the world with a fresh attitude and to love and serve God and my neighbor with a renewed heart.
I love the way that the Christian community tries to help each other during this season. It’s as if collectively we know we need each other to do the heavy lifting: self-examination, reflection, study, and action. From meditation guides, study groups, workshops, and service opportunities, we try to help each other embrace Lent and the change that might come as God works on us.
This morning, Bishop Rickel shared a video (Pendulum Swings) to encourage us this season.
I am grateful that the parishioners of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church have for 30 years produced their own Lenten meditation guide, called Lenten Prayers, with scripture readings and reflections for each day from Ash Wednesday through Easter. Over the years, what was a booklet has become a downloadable PDF, with the meditations also shared daily through email and Facebook. Although the format has adapted with the needs of our readers, the thoughtful and prayerful wresting with scripture and the challenges of living a faithful life continues.
So, Lent, here we go!