Lent is a time for listening for God. We listen for God by removing those things which might occupy our conscious mind (Facebook, television, holding grudges, to name a few examples – for me at least!), we take on a discipline or project by which we serve as the hands of God, and sometimes we listen for God … (spoiler alert) by listening.
We hope these forty days will be holy, transformative, and joyful. That’s right, I said joyful. Though Lent adheres to a more quiet and penitential tone, that does not mean we are not joyful. After all, the word Lent comes from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning “Spring” and when we tend to think of Spring we think of new life.
Lately I’ve been reflecting on the idea of the Beloved Community; what it means, who is included, how we can create it in our lives. In an ideal world, all people would live in this community where there is no hate or violence, poverty or bigotry. We would live with our hearts full of love so strong there wouldn’t be room for anything else.
Children are wonderfully made with a special spiritually all their own. They are so much more than miniature grownups, incubating to be adults one day. When we think that way, we detract from the true value of their childhood by focusing on the future adult they will become. It is invaluable to be fully engaged and mindful of the presence of our children by being fully present for them.
We who read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest holy scripture (as the Prayer Book instructs us to do) sometimes lament the illusion that we no longer see and experience the heroes, prophets, miracle workers, great writers and orators, and other characters we experience in the Bible.