Hello dear occasional readers and avid followers (I know avid may be a bit presumptuous),
I'm back after a short hiatus, due in some measure to the bustle of the holidays, followed by conferences and just good fun at my congregation!
Years ago, I attended Roman Catholic school from Pre-K through high school. Each year, Lent was a pretty big deal in the life of our school. You had to say what you were going to give up and how you were using this time in preparation for Easter. In short form for those who didn't grow up Christian, Lent is the time of spiritual preparation before Easter. It's 40 days long, though Christians calculate the 40 days each a little bit differently.
Growing up, I had a slightly less spiritual understanding of those 40 days, which for me were often measured in terms of when fish sticks would be served in the cafeteria and what days we would have a religious service instead of our first few classes in the morning. While for a good portion of my life, Lent was framed in these terms, it also included a built-in time to reflect, reconsider and recommit that I often took for granted. And though, I am no longer Catholic, I must say I miss this time of intentional preparation, reflection and quieting. So, that got me to thinking...
I think I need a Unitarian Universalist Lenten practice. Well, maybe not in those terms but I can't help but wonder if there isn't deeper truth in a human craving to go deeper, shrug off what we no longer need, and embrace a certain openness in our lives. Easter or not, it would seem Lent has a lot of uses.
There is something incredibly important about entering into a time of reflection just as the earth is breaking loose from winter and readying for the green and bloom of spring. My congregation is preparing for its vernal equinox service this Sunday. I feel in my own bones a need to clear out, say goodbye to the accumulated emotional and literal physical stuff from winter in order to welcome in new growth. Release and renewal seem so desperately needed.
So here is what I am hoping my UU Lent will look like:
-Prayer/meditation each day in the morning and evening
-Instead of TV, time for reading and writing letters to loved ones
I hope maybe you'll join me in this Lenten practice, shaping it to your theology and spirit. Let's see what spring has in store...