Ready or Not Lent is nearly here!
A couple of years ago I wrote this post about not giving anything up for Lent or taking anything on for Lent. It was in response to a really difficult point in my life, a point where I felt abandoned by my church. Last year I had a more typical Lent in that we are once again part of an active church community but I didn’t do much extra because we were also busy settling into our new home and that felt like enough. This year is different. This year I am feeling ready for Lent. I prepared to take some extra things on and I am prepared to let some things go. I am prepared to embrace this season and move through the coming forty days with joy and expectation.
I am taking on two disciplines this Lent. One is personal. I am going to pray my way through Joyce Rupp’s book The Cup of Our Life: a guide to spiritual growth. I am going to choose a cup and set up a prayer spot and take the time for God and me, to open up some space and see what happens. As it feels appropriate I will share with you what I am learning, struggling with and how the discipline is going. I haven’t done any regular prayer time for quite a while and it seems this is the moment to do it.
The other discipline I will be taking on has a community aspect to it. The church community that I worship with has decided to deepen its spiritual life by gathering together for study using the Animate Faith program. This is a video based program that takes 7 weeks to go through so it will get us into Easter as well, but that will be fine. I am looking forward to delving into the issues put forward in this program with this community. I am looking forward to learning together and digging deeper together.
At the beginning of this year I wrote a post on the words that I have chosen to be my guideposts for this year. This is probably the most important part of my Lenten disciplines this year is to look for those moments of creativity, delight and grace as I journey through this season. To make note of them and to give thanks to God for them as they happen.
I told the dear one the other day that for the first time in years I am looking forward to Lent. I suspect that some of that has to do with how long an Epiphany season we have had this year and also that I am feeling more comfortable and at home with the folks that we worship and work with week after week. I am looking forward to a full Lent where my personal spiritual life and my community spiritual life become more connected and where the hope of resurrection is being glimpsed each day.
Lent, ready or not, here I come!