Thank you all for coming to this conversation. Lent is a time for renewal, repentance and reflection. We “take on” things for 40 days – study, reading, prayer time. If we’ve given up something for Lent, we are really taking on the discipline of not doing what we’ve given up. So I’d like to offer this space as a place to do some reflection and studying, but without the feeling of having to cram more into our busy lives, or the sense that Lent is sad, somber, or depressing. Read through the posting when you have time. Think about it as you go through your day. Make it part of your regular routine. Comment or question as you have time. The goal at the end of the time together is to see how we can fit some Christian actions and thoughts into our daily or weekly or monthly routine. There’s no set requirement, you don’t need to engage in all elements of the posts. Hopefully, it will stir in you an interest in some introspection and sharing.
So let’s begin – What’s so awesome about my body?
Well, that’s a heck of a way to start, right? I’ve recently been on a retreat, and a most profound point was made: we so often look for Christ in the face of others, but do we stop to see God within ourselves?
Read: Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18: O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it. For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed. How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! I try to count them—they are more than the sand; I come to the end—I am still with you.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17: Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
Listen: “Abide With Me” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deJDkU6qiGE
When we travel on a plane, we are carefully instructed in safety. “If you are travelling with a small child, place the oxygen mask over your mouth first, and then assist the child.” Our lives need to be viewed in the same way. If we take care of others, but not ourselves, that does not last. If we look for God in others, but cannot see the divine in our hearts, we will not last.
Some questions to contemplate: What is your favorite physical attribute – your eyes, hair, smile? What is your favorite non physical attribute – your patience, optimism, organization skills? Have you thought that these are gifts from God, and that they are treasured by God in every way? That you are treasured by God?
What did you give up for Lent? Was it something physical, like a certain food, or something non physical, like negative thoughts? How is it going? How can you look to this discipline as a way to help yourself? Have you notice any change as a result of it?
Exercise: Tomorrow, when you wake up in the morning, decide that you will randomly stop at different times during the day. Take one minute. Where is your body? How does it feel? What aches, or holds stress, or feels energized? After a mental search through your body, thank God for the gift that is you, and that God has chosen you as God’s place to abide.
You can either comment here, or come to the Facebook group, Cornell Lenten Program.