I always find that the beginning of the year is a bit funny. Everyone goes back to work after Christmas and it feels like there isn’t much to look forward to. It becomes a bit of a struggle to get through the dark days without much in the way of signs of spring.
The community has been rocked slightly by departure of one of our number and I think the effects are really being felt. There is weird sense of things just not being right. You can tell it when we say the offices. There is a lack of the community togetherness that we once had. And it’s hard to be a part of.
Living in community is hard anyway, so it is even harder when people just aren’t feeling it. This feeling of unsettlement hasn’t been helped by my own spiritual struggles. Its nothing too drastic, but just enough to make everything seem hard. When your prayer life is a bit of a mess everything else just seems to be a struggle. It has really made me appreciate how much we will need to be fed by our prayer lives in our future ministries.
We are (as I type this on Shrove Tuesday) on the cusp of Lent. And honestly, I can’t wait. Lent is the opportunity to really dig deeper into ones relationship with God. Not that we should be using Lent as an excuse to fix whatever we think is broken with our relationship with God. But the season of penitence really helps us to appreciate the Allelujah when it finally does come at Easter. I think that’s why I’m so eager to get into the messiness of Lent, because I know things will only get better. Once I am told that I am dust then it is only a matter of time before we celebrate the resurrection.
From the reading that we heard at evening prayer today, the stand out line was ‘He must increase, but I must decrease.’ John 3:30. In order for us to grow in a deeper relationship with God, we need to let go of the things that get in the way. Thats why we fast, so that we let go of the things that have become entwined with our being. Only then can our lives start to be filled with God. I’m excited for Lent to start because I’m unsettled and I need to begin emptying myself of these things that keep me from a fuller relationship with God.
Without the darkness we cannot appreciate the light. Without disruption we cannot begin to live in harmony again.
Without Lent we cannot call ourselves an Easter people.
Whatever your Lenten observation may it be a time that is filled with the spirit and helps you to deepen your relationship with Christ. See you at the Allelujah.
Peace and Joy.