Contributor: Jean Crow
Lectionary Link: https://www.lectionarypage.net/YearABC/Lent/AshWed.html
I was raised as a Catholic and as Ash Wednesday approached, I remember talking to my grade school friends about what we were going to give up for Lent (and how we were looking forward to fish sticks on Fridays). In January of 1992, as the birth of our first daughter was near, Scott and I joined the Episcopal Church. When Lent approached that year, I waited for the church to tell me how to observe it. But that didn’t happen; there were no discussions of what we needed to give up, no talk of eating fish on Fridays – no guidelines at all.
At first I struggled. I was used to being told what to do. But as the years have gone by, I have embraced the Episcopal Church’s approach to making Lent a journey for me. I think about where I am in my life as Lent approaches each year and find a focus to make my life with God more meaningful.
Will I focus on the earth, trying to do something new and green, like composting my food waste? Will I decide it is the year to pull out my Bible and read a passage every day? Should I try to show kindness to strangers, even if it is saying “Hi” to someone in the grocery store? Should I check out a book from the St. Christopher’s Library that enhances my faith? Should I visit those who aren’t able to get out much this winter?
The possibilities are endless. I encourage each of us to reflect on our own lives to find a focus for these 40 days of Lent. Everyone will reach their own answer, and everyone’s answer will be right. That is one of many things I love about the Episcopal Church!
May you have a fulfilling Lent.