Today's Lectionary Text
Have mercy on me, O God,
For I know my transgressions,
You desire truth in the inward being;
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
O Lord, open my lips,
Today we begin my favorite time in the Christian calendar: Lent.
I know for many people Christmas is the best time of the year, but for me Easter is one of my favorite days! It’s warm and I love all the pastel colors which get associated with it. And who doesn’t love Easter baskets?
While Easter is bright and joyful, the journey through Lent is often darker and more uncomfortable. For instance, Ash Wednesday is to be a reminder of our mortality and for us to repent of our sins. During Lent, we might give up certain things, like avoiding sweets or soda, as a way of self-denial and regulation. Right before Easter, the Holy Days are ones of betrayal and the death of Jesus, not exactly an easy or light topic to discuss.
I think for many of us we like to avoid Lent because it makes us uncomfortable. Lent doesn’t have bright shiny lights and tinsel. Instead, it has a call for us to reflect and reexamine our very existence. But I don’t think we should avoid Lent because it might be harder than other times of the year (like Advent or Christmas) but we should reframe it.
Lent is a time where we can make ensure we are following in the ways of Jesus, in caring for all God’s creation. Lent is a time where we can remember the everlasting grace we receive through Jesus. And to understand that there are times in our faith, where things are uncomfortable and messy, but we must be ready to handle them and not avoid them. For myself, I love Lent because it invites me to deepen my relationship with God. To take time and find what makes my soul sing, even when things get hard and uncomfortable. For me, that means journaling and writing. It might mean spending time in your garden or painting and drawing. It might mean allowing yourself to feel uncomfortable, all while knowing God’s everlasting love is for you.
Omaha First UMC
Prayer for Reflection
Loving God, we know at times it is hard for us to be uncomfortable and embrace the hard feelings of grief and sadness. May we know you are there with us in all our feelings: joy, sadness, confusion, all of it. And for this we are thankful. Amen.
This Week's Lectionary
This Week's Liturgical Color