Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What are you taking on for Lent?

What are you taking on for Lent?

Every year it rolls around – this time of preparation, of self-examination, and of opening our hearts to the presence dawning upon us of the risen Christ.

How will you make the way open for his presence in your life? What will you want to do, to take on, as a personal or spiritual discipline, to get ready for his taking up residence in your soul?

Can you see a way to make ready the way for Christ to enter in to every day, every part of life as you know it? Is there something you can do each day to prepare your heart?

Sometimes we wish it were always Christmas: a season of joy, of fellowship, of fun, of expectation. Yet it is only the beginning of the story. This spring we move through the story of Jesus’ life, and follow him, even from Gethsemane to Golgotha and beyond.

Beyond. What will we find, beyond Good Friday? What will we see, beyond the tomb of Holy Saturday? How will we live, when morning breaks on the first day of the week?

John Pritchard, now bishop of Oxford, encourages us to live Easter all year round.

How will we come to that resurrection faith? How will we find the living presence of Jesus in ourselves? In short, how will we make room for God?

Surely we begin by realizing God has made room for us.

The world is filled with relationships based upon God’s own love, upon the relationships between Father and Son and Holy Spirit, overflowing into creating this world, redeeming its faults and false beginnings, and making holy our whole lives.

How we will take part in this holy process begins with our inviting Jesus in – to dwell within us in each room, each chamber, of our hearts. All Lent is meant to do is to help us to make our hearts Christ’s home.

And then, perhaps, we can see him dwelling in each other.


For the February 2008 Grapevine

Living Easter Through the Year: Making the Most of the Resurrection by John Pritchard (Liturgical Press, 2006)

unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity... and Why It Matters by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons (Baker Books, 2007)

Holiness by Donald Nicholl (Pauline Books & Media, 2005)

The Testing of Hearts by Donald Nicholl (Second edition: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1998)

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