09 March 2011

almost spring.

ash wednesday

Lent is not intended to be an annual ordeal during which we begrudgingly forgo a handful of pleasures. It is meant to be the church’s springtime, a time when, out of the darkness of sin’s winter, a repentant, empowered people emerges.

Put another way, Lent is the season in which we ought to be surprised by joy. Our self-sacrifices serve no purpose unless, by laying aside this or that desire, we are able to focus on our heart’s deepest longing: unity with Christ. In him--in his suffering and death, his resurrection and triumph--we find our truest joy.

—Dorothy Sayers, Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter


almost spring

this is my first close encounter with lent.

i’ve never trucked much with liturgy, but i can see the value of examination, repentance, renewal. i yearn for a springtime in my spirit.

and perhaps i’ll bungle it all up, who knows, but i’m stepping into these next six weeks full of jagged breaks and hope. i’m excavating daily spaces of waiting, and i will tilt my face in raw need and expectation toward the One who awakens me full-bloom.

31 comments:

Laurie said...

Well said and Amen!

Ruthiey said...

love that last bit! denying ourselves can be a way of saying to God, "God, i want you more than this, more than anything."

I pray God's blessing on your Lent.

Elaine said...

I have never really been one to actively practice Lent, but your timely message is really making me reconsider this act of self sacrifice.
Thank you.

lulu and family said...

love this, nic. the words put it so well. btw, i saw your mandi mapes lyrics on fb today and was so impressed with her writings and music i posted on her. hope others will enjoy her, too. love to you and your family today!

TheUnSoccerMom said...

I've never really participated in Lent (being Baptist, it's really just now catching on for 'us').

I think it's a great way to be closer to Christ and to me, those little things we can give up are nothing compared to what He did for us, but oh what a great reminder it is of His sacrifice.

:o)

Brian Miller said...

love that quote and best wishes on embracing lent as we head into renewal...

happygirl said...

Thanks for writing this. Lent has never been a serious sacrifice for me. Oh, I've tried, but failed. This year I'm adding something for Lent. 40 days of yoga. It's forcing me to think differently about my life. Do you think it's wrong for Christians to practice yoga? I wonder about this.

Sami Jo said...

I'm now confessing I just googled Ash Wednesday... I don't know why I don't remember this from church or anything... All I remember is Good Friday and Easter of course. You inspired me to "spring" out of the dark of ignorance and into the Light, My Dear. I'm with Elaine, Thank you.
Hearts, SJ

ps that pic with the branch and the little foggy cloud that is swirling through... is insane. so awesome.

Tammy@If Meadows Speak... said...

"i’ve never trucked much with liturgy, but i can see the value of examination, repentance, renewal." me too, me too. Loved this.

Carrie Burtt said...

Yes, spring is a time of renewal...this is lovely indeed!
:-)

Nancy said...

Another non-liturgical voice recognizing the beauty of your thoughts on Lent. I like what Sayers says about it not being an ordeal of begrudging a handful of pleasures. I think that's where I tend to go off track in my thinking about this season. How can there be a begrudging of anything in connection with the joy of life Christ?

Farmgirl Paints said...

beautifully said. springtime in my heart. love that. i've never really observed lent before either, but my family talked about it and we are all trying to decide what to set aside. it's a good thing.

elizabeth said...

I love this, and hope we hear about your drawing near and how He draws near to you.

Joybird said...

I, too am just now (a bit late perhaps) considering lent. I feel the need for fostering expectation and intimacy with Christ right now. Still not sure what to give up. Only started thinking about this an hour or so ago. Like I said, a little late.

Kendal said...

i will tilt my face in raw need and expectation toward the One who awakens me full-bloom.

this. i love.

Southern Gal said...

Another way to focus on the Savior and His sacrifice, our new life. Yes.

patty said...

so beautifully worded. and i so love those images... perfect.

Katarina said...

It started to warm up here too, snow is melting and I hope that the spring will bring the good things:)
xoxo

life or something like it said...

I've never heard lent explained so well. Well said.

imoomie said...

Just beautiful, your words so well put!

Blessings.

emily wierenga said...

this made me cry.

i so long for spring.

(and thank you for sharing dorothy sayers' readings... can i ask, where you found her book? i've been looking for a good book on lent)

love to you, friend of light and song.

keLi said...

so timely for me, these beautiful words, as i refuse to let Lent be one more "thing i do for God."

how weary he is of that, from me.

would love to know how you're practicing...

alittlebitograce said...

this is beautiful, both the words and pictures. i wish i could find better words to express all that springs up within at this post, but i can't.

Mama Zen said...

Beautiful!

Kati patrianoceu said...

What a great quote from Dorothy Sayers. I've had some great Lent experiences, but even when it wasn't amazing and unique it was still special. But the best Lents I can remember are the ones shared in community. I think that says something.

elizabeth said...

I've been a follower for quite some time but just wanted to say how much I love your writing and photography!

Tamara @ Living Palm said...

beautiful excerpt from Dorothy Sayers -- thank you for sharing it (I've now copied it on my site!) May God bless us all as we fall toward Him this season. I'm looking forward to visiting back here again.

patty said...

so beautifully worded. and i so love those images... perfect.

keLi said...

so timely for me, these beautiful words, as i refuse to let Lent be one more "thing i do for God."

how weary he is of that, from me.

would love to know how you're practicing...

imoomie said...

Just beautiful, your words so well put!

Blessings.

Elaine said...

I have never really been one to actively practice Lent, but your timely message is really making me reconsider this act of self sacrifice.
Thank you.