Friday, March 29, 2013

Lent 2013

Last night was full moon. I didn’t take a photo.  (Here is one a childhood friend took a few hours later.)

Betsy moon cropped

I did, however, walk along the river in the moonlight, watching the sparkling water dance as it flowed along, and listening  to the soft harsh voices of hundreds of swans ...  and I felt so incredibly blessed.

So, having engaged to count these blessings for Lent why did I stop?

No one seemed to be listening! It occurred to me that although I was writing more. people were reading less. Of course, this is not always a reason to quit.

After all, theoretically it was spiritual exercise. Did an audience really matter? And then it occurred to me, this time it wasn’t a spiritual exercise.

I kept thinking of  David’s words, “I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”  And I realized it was costing me nothing.

A year ago I was in a bad place.

It seemed like it had been snowing forever, there was “no one” in church and I’d been thinking about my life - what it hasn’t been and where it hasn’t gone.

And then some hymns came to my rescue. Or perhaps I should say God came to my rescue through the hymns we sang. I was particularly struck by this couplet: 

Perish every fond ambition…

yet how rich is my condition!”

and, deciding that I needed to focus much less on the perished ambitions and much more on the rich condition, I began my Lenten Journey:  Lenten Blessings – 2012

It really was a “sacrifice of praise.” (Hebrews 13:15)

But this year it wasn’t – and that’s why I bailed out. Instead of publicly counting my blessings I have chosen to do something else – something that was on my mind at the beginning of Lent but which I had rejected initially because it didn’t seem exactly like a “spiritual exercise.”

After due reflection, however, I concluded that this “other thing” is something which I must do and it costs me - time.

So that’s what happened to Lenten Blessings 2013.

Tomorrow at Ajigasawa Chapel we’ll have our Last Supper Celebration at 7 pm. And on Sunday morning at 9:00 the Sunday School will fry fish together before the Easter Morning worship service and eat it with French bread - as we do every year.

And we’ll remember our “rich condition” in Jesus Christ!

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