Last year my family (natural and church) started observing Lent in a meaningful way. This was the culmination of a few years of wanting to observe Lent and the challenge of a good Catholic friend. Over dinner with said friend, I was talking about how awesome it was that my church observed Advent. He smiled and then asked, “Great, what do you do for Lent?”
“We don’t observe Lent at our church.” I replied.
“Oh…so you only do the fun stuff?”
I was caught off guard by his response. I selfishly wanted recognition for the good I was doing, but instead I was challenged for what I was omitting. As it settled in, I started to realize that Advent and Lent balance each other out in the Church calendar. To celebrate one without the other is like only having one person on a teeter-totter. You’ll never experience the thrill and joy of the teeter-totter without a partner. The up and down movement, the give and take, the highs and lows are part of the experience.
The expectation and joy of Advent goes hand in hand with the introspection and solemnity of Lent.
As with our own lives, we experience both highs and lows. Anybody who always tries to ride at the top, in joy and exhilaration, is fooling themselves about the reality of life and will probably overlook those below them. Anybody who wallows at the bottom in introspection and despair can be blinded to the joy that is just a push away. Or simply miss that they are also connected to people that want to help them experience joy.
So, as I prepare my heart for Easter during this Lenten season I thought I would spend some time each week reading, meditating and reflecting on the Lectionary readings for the week. This is inspired by the practice of lectio divina which is one of my favorite ways to read and reflect on scripture. As a bit of a challenge, and accountability, I thought I would share my readings and reflections on this blog here. The readings and prayers will come from the Book of Common Prayer – Revised Common Lectionary (as provided in the Lectionary app on my iPhone). Each week should have a prayer on Sunday, followed by Old Testament, New Testament or Psalm readings and reflections on Tuesday and Friday.
So, join me during Lent as we “ride” this teeter-totter of life together and turn our hearts, minds and bodies towards God.