Selah …

10 Mar

Beware … all of those who are easily religiously offended either as a result of practicing or not practicing … you may have issue with my latest project.

Nope, I am not going sacrilege – actually in light of the Lenten season I am going contemplative.  I am hoping that my friends who are not “church-y” can take a look if for no other reason than to get to know me better and be traveling buddies on this journey.  My hope for my more “church-y” friends is that you won’t judge my perspectives or measure them against any particular church doctrine since my perspective is my own and not intended to reflect a particular denomination … my hope is to let the “Spirit carry me away” to a place where I can be authentically me and travel in my own Lenten Wilderness … and I want you to come along.

In addition to the standard Lenten “sacrifice”, mine being soda, I felt called this morning to offer additional time to devotion, prayer and study .. and to keep a travel log to boot.  I think each year we choose something to give up – at least many folks do – but it tends to take on the flavor of New Year’s Resolutions rather than any kind of spiritual practice.  While I am sure these sacrifices, when kept, are probably psychologically and potentially physically healing, but where do they leave the spirit.

I wonder sometimes if people understand why there is such a season as Lent … why we sacrifice something from Ash Wednesday for forty days until Easter Sunday.  I think amongst all of our church programming we’ve lost touch with the history and tradition that lays as a foundation for all that we do.  For those of you who are now asking yourself, “Why do we have 40 days of Lent, and what is meant to represent?”  Lent is possibly the oldest and most authentic of the church seasons.  There is substantial evidence that Lent was a practice initiated by the Apostles themselves and they charged the followers of Christ to do the same.  Lent is a season in which all Christians step forward and take their place as a player in a very small part in the Passion of Christ … where we participate in His suffering.  This season of quiet contemplation and reflection is designed to correspond with Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness following His baptism and preceding His ministry.  For me, it seems that this sets an example for all Christians … prior to serving/ministering, we need to have this time of reflection to ensure that we are in harmony with God and that we are keen to the Holy Spirit and sensitive to His promptings.  I think outside of this, as Christians, we can’t be certain whether our well intended ministry is what we want or think we should be doing or whether it is really where we are being called.

In one devotion I looked at this morning, they suggested reading Psalm 32 and being without my own “official” Lenten Devotion, I decided to follow this one for today … After reading it, it was evident that this was just what was intended for today.  Psalm 32 addresses the need to confess before you can enjoy the presence of the Lord fully.  I think a lot of us can have spiritual moments and feel God’s touch outside of confession, but I think any of us who have fully explored our shortcomings and laid them out to see more clearly will acknowledge that the relationship you are able to enjoy with God is not comparable with that outside of confession.

So today, I am going to be pondering what garbage I have been storing that could do with getting out.  I have no doubt that much like my house, there’s stacks of clutter whose removal will let me breathe easier and free me up to be a little more me.

If you are following me … YEAH … I love having friends to talk to and be challenged by.  And know, while I always look at how my day-to-day life goes down, over the next 40 days in particular it’s going to see those church words that make some folks tense … just know I’m me and I’m cool with you being you … this is just what I’m thinking 🙂

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