Lenten Reflection: Lent 1

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Lent pic goodTo step into Lent is to acknowledge our desire for being known. If we truly want to be known we need to open ourselves up to the possibility of a shared life with each other. A shared life often feels like compromise…something accepted rather than wanted. A compromise may feel as though we are settling for less than what we originally wanted.

But what if a shared life together actually opened the door to an even greater desire to love? Often, it is only through the genuine opening of our hearts that we can be transparent enough to allow someone to love us in return. Yes, hurt and disappointment are also available emotions to be felt. But isn’t that also part of being known? Can joy really be expressed without an understanding of sorrow?

Lent is a time where we open ourselves up to both the joy and the sorrow of knowing ourselves. It is a time when we allow ourselves to be transparent. It is a time when we trust the truth of God to work within us and accept both the limitations and the possibilities of who we are as people.

Let us now let go of the fear that imposes itself upon our souls and breathe in deeply the freedom and the desire to be fully known.

God of all truth, you are truth itself, and therefore truth is not an idea or a concept, but first of all a life, and energy, a love, a relationship with everything. Teach us to love truth and to truthfully love; then we always know we will be loving you. Amen.

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Detail from Washington Allston's painting "Elijah in the Desert"

Parish News: The Week of June 19

The Gift

Be still, my soul, and steadfast.
Earth and heaven both are still watching
though time is draining from the clock
and your walk, that was confident and quick,
has become slow.
So, be slow if you must, but let
the heart still play its true part.
Love still as once you loved, deeply
and without patience. Let God and the world
know you are grateful.
That the gift has been given.

— Mary Oliver, first published in Felicity (2015)
© 2017 by NW Orchard LLC
Published in 2020 by Penguin Books in Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver, p. 14
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In this week’s newsletter: Reflections on the continuing violence and division in our world, in the hope that God’s love poured in our hearts is the first stage in the remaking of that world. Also: news about this summer’s schedule of services (spoiler: Sunday morning services will be at 10 a.m. from July 3 through September 4); a call for sorely needed Food Pantry volunteers; and other news and announcements and ways to participate.

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