Ash Wednesday

currently reading (the Message):
Lamentations 3:19-33
Hosea 2:14-15

we spent the morning with the staff of Common Ground, walking the city streets and partaking in an Ash Wednesday mass.  as i walked the long aisle to receive the ash-shaped cross on my forehead, i felt overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude for the opportunity to repent.  we have such a loving God that allows us not only the chance to choose, but also to acknowledge our errors and come back to Him.

despite my week now of sickness (yes, i’m still hacking and sleeping poorly), i am drawn more and more to this radical Jesus who loves deeply and welcomes me back, no matter the condition i’m in.

so today begins the season of Lent, a time of reflection and preparation for the coming death and resurrection of Christ.  40 days until Easter (not including Sundays).  “40” is a symbolic number all through the Scriptures…40 days of the flood (Noah);  40 years of Israelites wandering in the desert;  40 days of Jesus fasting and being tempted.  so, Lent seems to be a time of fasting and praying. a time for God to cleanse and renew His people.

God has been gently and quietly pulling me to be still, and rest, which i have fought to the end.  (i had to chuckle yesterday when i realized that one of the only things that works to stop my coughing is to still my body and focus on my breathing).  through this contemplation, i’ve realized that my schedule, no matter how good the intentions, keeps me from being present in my house.  this leaves me scrambling, running from thing to thing, which fosters impatience and neglect with the people i live with.

so, for Lent, i am clearing my schedule.  this sounds dramatic, and i hope it is.  i will intentionally not be planning anything in the evenings and hope that this will foster more relationship with my housemates, as well as allow for quiet, still space with God.

Long have I waited for your coming home to me and living deeply our new life.

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