Rev. Bethany Peerbolte March 2, 2020
March 4, 2019
The climate in Michigan during Lent sets a perfect atmosphere for somber reflection. There will be very few days of sun. The cold will bite at every inch of exposed skin and sink deep into one’s bones. The shadows of trees stretch out long on the snow-covered ground. It is as if a Hollywood director designed this exact scene for the feelings she wished to evoke for Lent.
Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the season of Lent for the Church. During this time we are reminded that we were once only molecules of dust and dirt and will be only dirt and dust again someday soon. This weight is purposefully cast onto believers and will continue for the 40-ish days of the Lenten season. A time where Christians reflect on their sinfulness and mortality. The practice is meant to make Easter feel especially light when the miracle of resurrection is revealed.
For many, the weight of Lent is nothing new. We live every day dragging around thoughts of unworthiness and a sense of how crappy we are. We go to sleep most nights replaying every mistake and missed opportunity, begging ourselves to be better tomorrow. Only to hit the pillow the next night with the same dread and self-loathing. For us, Lent is not a quick trek down a dark path, it is a time when the path we walk every day is a little more crowded with downtrodden tourists.
This moment is for those who know the somber path of Lent too well. Use this as a tool whenever Lent gets to be too much, and you need a refreshing breath of renewal.
Lenten Moment Guide
Collect something small (like a stone, a coin, a bead, or a balled-up piece of paper)
Find a comfortable place to sit where you can relax and focus.
Ask God to be with you
Turn down your mind
Turn up God’s voice
Create an ebenezer
When you are ready
This may have felt totally weird to you and that is perfectly okay. Any new spiritual practice will begin with some oddness. Your moment with God is whatever you want it to be, so adjust the plans above to fit your style. Maybe you want to light a candle, or play a song, or hold your pet, make it your own! As long as you are finding moments to be with God you will make it through this Lenten season.
You are a beloved child of God. You have been dust and you will be dust again, but for now…..for now you have been breathed on with God’s full power. You bear the image of God and hold in every cell the potential of love. Let that potential flow because you are priceless to this world. We NEED you to be you to survive.