Monthly Archives: March, 2014

Grateful

Writing during Lent, I will write forty words a day, but these are not Lent words, but may be writing “redemptively”

Today I am grateful for:

  • nearly twenty crows in a leafless maple
  • blue sky, sunshine and cirrus clouds (mares’ tails)
  • an old brown dog
  • friends in Malawi
  • children learning to read and write
  • spring flowers and bees

and to God, the maker – his handiwork is anywhere I look, if I take the time to see

Silence

Sometimes there seem to be no words.

Nothing new to say.

A relative once asked the question:

“is what I am about to say going to be an improvement over silence?”

I wonder if God feels this way some mornings.

Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

How Do my words help?

“Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” Matthew 12:34 tells us. Allign the heart and words follow.
Confession, repentance, commitment.
My words can change things.
A large ship can be turned by a small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.
Created in God’s image, we have a voice to be used creatively – speaking into being.
Let there be light.
Let it be to me according to your word.
Father forgive them.
It is finished.

What shall I say today?

Lenten Tension

Shall I, in a season, give up some sin, only to take it up again later? -or begin something good, only to drop it later?
No.
In Lent, I step aside and practice something that I intend to continue, listening to God. Then in the rest of life continue in that same direction.
Recalibration?

I think so.

Happy Lent / Ten sins or fewer

10 sins or fewer alt jpg “Happy Lent” I said to our choir director, “or is that the wrong greeting?”

His response: “I guess that it depends on how many sins you have…” left me wondering: I wonder whether Lent would be happier if you have few or many sins?  On one hand, having many sins would lead me to have a more penitent lent, and having few would leave me with only light penitence.  On the other hand, having many sins forgiven, I would have great gratitude.

 Luke 7:47 (ESV)  Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

Read the whole story in Luke 7:36-50       http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+7%3A36+-+50&version=ESV

Growing up Presbyterian with very little emphasis on Lent

Growing up in a Presbyterian family and church, I was aware of very little emphasis on Lent. We might, curiously have pancakes for dinner on a Tuesday in early spring some years to use up the oil. By some curious miracle we never ran out of oil…

As a rather young young adult, I was sitting in the Student Union Building at UBC with friends from various churches. Someone asked one of our group, a young Jesuit, what he was giving up for Lent and he quipped “celibacy”, a word I didn’t know. Everyone laughed, but I didn’t get it.  The more, and more loudly I asked, the quieter everyone got.  Finally, mercifully, one of the young women, a little older than I, took me aside and explained.  As my understanding grew, the red glow from my face illuminated the SUB.

As an adult, I kind of feel that Lent is a little like celibacy – in the story above, that is – something that others get, but I am outside the circle of understanding.  Over the years I have developed an eclectic view, and spotty observance of Lent.

One of my friends will not observe Lent. He feels that it is un-christian. I guess one could see Lent as trying to prove something to God, or earn points, or leverage Him into doing something.

Now, as an Anglican, Lent is with us big time.

I have and do participate in some observances: One year I gave up coffee – and was grumpy for 3 weeks – no one told me about having Sundays off- so I could have had a cup on the weekend…

I’m over 40 words, but I include a comic.  Lent is not a time to try to make God pay attention to us.

He has said “I will never forsake you”

Isaiah 49:15-16 (ESV)

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. you are graven on my hand

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+49%3A15-16&version=ESV

RUBES god not listening

From the bulletin for the Ash Wednesday service: Lent Prose

lenten prose cropped

Our choir sings “Lent Prose” at services throughout Lent.  The music is beautiful; the words, a wonderful prayer.

We ask God to do what he loves to do: have mercy on us when we stop deceiving ourselves about sin and turn to him for mercy.

Lent in the dark

Lent in the dark

Early
darkness outside,
rain rattling windows,
staccato punctuation accompanies meditation.
Turning, reflecting, searching:
Wherefore darkness
within?

Blessing
and cursing,
my stumbling speech:
products of my heart –
unnaturally mixed fruit
meekly seeking
wisdom.

JM
March 6, 2014

40 words 40 days

During Lent, I will write forty words a day. 
A friend had challenged me to “write redemptively”, and I sort of knew what that meant a few weeks ago, and I want to write things that are an improvement over a blank page.  I think that I can manage to come up with forty words that are not drivel – besides I like to write, it’s just that I don’t write much.

So, this year I’m giving up the empty space – the vacuum of words that were not written. 

Apparently that was 90 words – no I’m not being legalistic and counting that as 2.25 days’ worth!