Lenten Meditation #1

We are entering the second week of Lent. How have you decided to use this introspective season in the church? As we prepare for the betrayal, crucification, and ultimately the Resurrection of Christ, we are invited to exam our lives, what stands between us and God, and how we can more fully connect with our own humanness. It is in this reflection we can find a closer relationship with God through identifying and reducing what separates us from God.

In my previous post about the special session of General Conference, I mentioned how a hurt has fallen like a bridal vail on the United Methodist Church. Independent of which stance your heart called you to support, the pain is universal. As the dust settles in the wake of the conference and we await the rulings of the Judicial Council, I invite you to pray, meditate, and fast for the future of the UMC…whatever that may be. Also, as you are led, perhaps you would like to give up something (fast) during this time, something that prevents you from fully living into a Godly approach to relationships or family, or something which keeps you from knowing you are of sacred worth to God. You may also take a different approach and add something to your day. An example may be a daily devotional, or reading one chapter of the Gospels Matthew and John a day (that’ll get you through Lent). I am partial to a monastic practice of Common Prayer which offers short reflections you can do three times a day. Whatever you choose, I pray it helps connect you to the season. If you would like, you can share these with me and I will join you in praying specifically through Easter for this journey. Send me a Note so we can join the virtual table through prayer.

A Meditation:

I want to leave you with a poem by Jan Richardson in her Book Circle of Grace. It was recently shared with me and I found it to be pertinent for this time.

Beloved is Where We Begin
by Jan Richardson in Circle of Grace

If you would enter
into the wilderness,
do not begin
without a blessing.

Do not leave without hearing who you are:
Beloved,
named by the One
who as traveled this path
before you.

Do not go
without letting it echo
in your ears,
and if you find 
it is hard
to let it into your heart,
do not despair.
That is what
this journey is for.

I cannot promise
this blessing will free you
from danger,
from fear,
from hunger
or thirst,
from the scorching 
of sun
or the fall
of the night.

But I can tell you
that on this path
there will be help.

I can tell you
that on this way
there will be rest.

I can tell you
that you will know
the strange graces
that come to our aid
only on a road
such as this,
that fly to meet us
bearing comfort
and strength,
that come alongside us
for no other cause
than to lean themselves
toward our ear
and with their 
curious insistence
whisper our name:

Beloved.
Beloved.
Beloved.

Peace to you in these coming weeks.

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