It was at this time last year that the first rumblings of a Corona virus started becoming real to us in Canada. It would be a few more weeks before we started closing things down, but we were in Lent when all came to pass and Palm Sunday and Easter services were cancelled. We thought maybe it would all be over in a couple of weeks and then a couple of months, and now here we are wondering if we are even going to be in our sanctuary for Palm Sunday a year later.
I attended a Zoom workshop where the question posed to us was, “Where has God led us since last Ash Wednesday?” One person responded that it feels like it has been a year of Lent. I could relate. Often Lent is thought of as a time of giving up something or abstinence. This practice is meant to be a spiritual discipline. It is meant to be a preparation time for Easter, a time to really focus on the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. We have given up so much this year, from celebrations of life and death, to transitions of various kinds; beginning a school year, retirements, graduations, weddings, and changes in jobs to name a few, so giving up more seems like asking too much.
We are mourning what has been lost and so maybe this is a good time to pay attention to what God is doing. God didn’t pack up and leave. God is still with us, but it takes paying attention to see the ways that God is moving in the world. In these coming weeks leading up to Easter it may be time to finally sit and reflect. It may not be a time for giving up one more thing but rather to give thanks. Many times I have read the suggestion to take up some spiritual practice during lent, maybe prayer, scripture reading, walking with the purpose of seeing God in creation. It is meant to bring us more closely in relationship with our creator. I have decided that this season of Lent I am going to make at least one phone call, Monday through Saturday to check in on a family member, a colleague, a friend, or acquaintance, asking God to be with me in those conversations so that I may be light and salt in a world that is struggling. It will be one way that I intentionally look for what God is doing in a time that feels like an extended period of Lent.
Regardless of your take on Lent, may you find blessing and strength in this season of preparation and anticipation of the remembrance of the death and the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Rev. Joyce Yanishewski