February 01, 2016

“Deep in their roots all flowers keep the light.”

― Theodore Roethke

As we come to February, we come to Lent. We come to the time when we particularly commit to examining our lives and doing what we can to amend them to be more fully lives of goodness and mercy, peace and loving-kindness. Sometimes it truly feels as if all the light in our lives has left us, and thus Lent has a heaviness and weariness that fights against the life-giving disciplines we employ – and in those times, Easter joy feels very far away, indeed.

But as Roethke reminds us, deep down, even if only in our roots, we keep the light. Uncovering that light is the focus of Lent – so that, with the daffodils, lilies and other flowers of spring, come Easter, we can trumpet with joy, Christ is Alive!  He is Risen… The Lord is Risen Indeed!

Now is the time to pray to ask God’s guidance about what Lent should look like for you. Sometimes it is best to give something up… letting go of something you enjoy may help you focus on the penitential nature of Lent, or on the fact that in this special time, you are turning special time and attention to God. Sometimes it is best to take something on… adding to your life service to the poor, or special study of scripture or a devotion, or a book to heighten your understanding or piety or prayerfulness; sometimes the thing to add is play – adding enjoyment and delight in the Lord to your life is a rather overlooked way to focus attention and thanks on God. Whatever you do to mark Lent, make it a time of going to your roots… going deeper to find the joy and light and life that God has placed within you.

We will have some special offerings at St. Philips in Lent – they may help in this search for light and in the deepening of life in Christ. On Thursday evenings at 6, come for Soup Supper and Study, with C. S. Lewis as guide. On Tuesday mornings at 10, explore the mind and word of God by entering into the language and culture that formed the words and images of the scriptures we read to hear God’s word to us. Sunday worship services will include time for silent prayer and reflection; we will use the more penitential prayers and language of worship to help us remember that this is a special time of growth in darkness.

In it all, remember that Lent is a journey… a journey in which we rend our hearts so that God may create in us clean and contrite hearts, and may renew a right spirit within us. In this journey, we will come closer to the One who created us, loves us, holds us, sustains us, encourages us, and walks every step with us. This is the work and journey of Lent, and it is a journey of love and faithfulness, guided and directed by the Lord.

Blessings and Love to you as we walk the path of Lent – finding light in the darkness, hope in the journey, and life and love in it all. Thanks be to God!

Vicar Janet