Lent!

DSCN0450(a Valentine gift from my son 2013)

“Sarah Parsons (Bio) recently completed a master’s degree at the University of Tennessee College of Social Work and intends to become a psychotherapist. She holds a BA in Religious Studies from Yale University and a master of divinity degree from Vanderbilt Divinity School.”

Impressive, don’t you think? I do! I love the words she shared recently in one of my devotions:

“Lent…The goal is to make a change that sinks deeply into life, drawing us closer to self, others, and God. Lent is about intentionally opening ourselves, preparing to receive God’s goodness.”

I paused to reflect early this Saturday in the dark and cold of the morn and thought about Sarah’s words I shared above. I know little about Lent. But, I desire to know more about “drawing closer to self, others and God.”

I thought about my two last posts here. First,  writing mine… and then asking others to tell their story of ‘what they wanted to be when they grew up.’ Secondly, share and give a yell out to someone(s) a written line of Valentine Love.

I had to struggle a little, sure not thinking of lent, just a struggle to express something! I was asked by a stranger on another website to tell my story.  I had to share story to myself and then to others and if and when I did I knew deep within it would draw me closer to God and give me a deeper recognition of Him. My story might show that I could be a little angry with Him, and that being God. Or, I might find He was even greater than my finite mind thought since I had to open my heart to acknowledge Him.

I overcame my struggles and wrote my little simple words and I have been in awe from responses of those I know and those I know not.  And, so amazing how goodness and mercy surely have followed my words.  I am in awe of a stranger, Sarah Parsons, whom I have never read to my remembrance had a line just for me on this cold and dim Saturday AM!

Hope you will find the blogs below and write your story and show your love. It’s never too late in the seasons of life to live out a lent of giving up a little of the old self (maybe shelf)  life for the divine!

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10 thoughts on “Lent!

  1. I really like your last thought, “It’s never too late in the seasons of life to live out a lent of giving up a little of the old self (maybe shelf) life for the divine!”
    Shelf-life:”The length of time for which an item remains usable, fit for consumption, or saleable.” Maybe our gifts are sitting on a shelf collecting dust. I guess they are really not gifts until we put them to use and give them away.

  2. I also like Sara’s phrase, “shelf-life”. It might pertain to being “shelf-ish” instead of OUT THERE being used according to package directions on the label by the Manufacturer. It would seem that a “product” cannot help with healing unless it is used.

  3. Debi, I think they are gifts just out of usefulness. When date expires on the shelf life of an item not much good. I think we could find ways listed in God’s Word where your gift has lost its usefulness. Maybe its saltness, etc. One that come to mind is:
    “… if I have prophetic powers (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God’s love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody). I Corinthians 13:2 Amp.

    1. I think I see your point, Sara. Guess that ties in with your quote above, “drawing us closer to self, others, and God”. Can’t leave any out.

  4. The part that really speaks to me is; ” lent is about intentionally opening ourselves, preparing to receive God’s goodness.” So, I ask myself how do I open the door, myself…maybe the key is hanging on the door…”Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you, and you will eat with me.” Revelation 3:20

  5. Sara. yes! That Scripture verse speaks to our thoughts about being “useless nobody” when one SHELVES …a gift, a calling, a ministry, a drink of water… What good am I if a thirsty person desperately asks for a drink of water and I “shelve” the urge to give it to him/her until a more opportune time?….Not Much!

  6. In my former days of “genuflection” as a child, we kids were always ‘proud’ and shared vociferously among our peers and elders, the list of things we were going to GIVE UP for Lent. The rationale in our young minds at that time and perhaps (erroneously or not) understood from the teachings about Lent was that Jesus suffered and gave up His life for us so we, in turn, should be willing to “give up” something for Him. As I indicated above….this was to our childish way of thinking, never progressed and eventually became the understanding of Lent as we matured.

    Maybe the sisters had something there. Maybe not. Was I trying to garner God’s favor? Was I using “works” to earn my salvation? Was giving up bubble gum, ice cream and cokes helping me to pay for Jesus’ sufferings on the cross?

    The Scriptures open up so much more to me, now, about the Holy Seasons of the church. Ms. Parsons’ “Lent…The goal is to make a change that sinks deeply into life, drawing us closer to self, others, and God. Lent is about intentionally opening ourselves, preparing to receive God’s goodness.” I think, like Sara, that this is such a holy response to the FINISHED WORK of CHRIST on the cross culminating in His resurrection from the Dead. For, what more could my bubble gum refraining do than what Jesus has already accomplished? “Rock, O steady Rock and Faultless was Your work. You shed Your precious blood in the covenantal cutting!” (c) Faultless!

    He has shown you, O man, what is good. What does the LORD require of you, but to act justly, To love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? __Micah 6:8

    That’s what Lent and Advent and Easter and Christmas and Pentecost seasons really mean for the Christian in the Body of Christ.

    1. MG, your growing up story gives me a possible glimpse into St. Paul’s thinking when he wrote for is to put away childish things. “When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.” I Corinthians 13:11 NLT

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