Thoughts on Lent
Dear Congregation and Friends,
Lent begins in less than two weeks. Can you believe it? I sincerely hope you’ll plan to join our Ash Wednesday service March 2nd at 6:30pm.
Between now and then, I invite you to think about Lent. What have your previous experiences been? Do you usually abstain from something? Do you add something into your routine? Lent is traditionally understood as a 40 days of prayer and fasting, mirrored after the 40 days the gospels tell us Jesus spent in the wilderness praying and fasting. The practice of fasting goes back to the roots of Christianity, with the longer 40 day Lenten fast developing in the fourth century.
This year, I invite you to get creative with your Lenten fasting. Instead of choosing a simple vice like chocolate or fried food, what if you “give up” a pattern or habit that no longer serves you? Maybe you can give up self criticism or negative self talk. Maybe you can give up overextending yourself for other people. Maybe you can give up exhaustion.
If this idea is compelling, you have a week and a half to notice which of your patterns or habits needs to shift for your own wellbeing, and commit to giving it up for 40 days. Then give yourself some grace and compassion. You’re not going to do it perfectly. Perfection isn’t the point. The purpose is to challenge yourself to do something you might not do otherwise. Who knows what could happen when you step out of your comfort zone?!