Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Our Journey Through Lent, In Community
As I reflect on Psalm 51:10, the words seem to express well the heart of Ash Wednesday and Lent: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a right spirit within me.” Up to a certain point, I believe it is safe to say you and I can assess the health of our spirit through Scripture, Prayer and our relationship with God. Yet to gain a true and fuller understanding of who we are in heart and spirit, we also rely on others to mirror our presence and our actions (whether or not we agree).
Those colorful Old Testament stories expound on the creation of community life...with all their struggles and joys. In Exodus, we read about the spiritual and practical plight of the Israelite community in the desert... during which time they received God's Ten Commandments. The first two spoke of loving God and of loving our neighbors as ourselves.
Then and now, amidst the complexities and richness of differing cultures across this globe, I believe in some way we are all meant to live in community.
The early celebrations of the Sabbath and Holy Days, wherever possible, took place in community, whether this meant family, the body of the Temple, or a village.
Today, whenever we gather for worship, as I take and receive communion, I am reminded of both: my communion with God in Christ and my communion with others by God's grace.
Reflecting upon Lent, I believe this time of reflection and cleansing is meant to be journeyed both individually and collectively. The Last Supper or Passover Feast was a communal event. This is where the gifts of communion began and where we are invited to lively fully, before, during and after Lent.
As I reflect upon my relationship with God, may my reflections also include my life in community.
“Like a roaming stream that knows no end, but for Your Grace I'd go my way.”
Posted by English_Lutheran at 12:22 PM