Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Packing for the Trip

Did you get to the beach and find you'd forgotten to pack your swimsuit?
Or to the mountains and find that you don't have hiking shoes?

No? Me either. My packing problem is that I always take way too much. And I think that's possible on the Lenten journey, too. Maybe that's one reason the church's tradition of "giving up something for Lent" makes sense.

What do I need to leave behind so that I can pay more attention to Jesus and the journey?

Grudges? Worries about how this or that situation is going to work itself out? Self-pity?
Or maybe I'll just give up chocolate. That would be easier.

Is there something you'd like to give up for Lent, so that you can travel lighter?

And what are "must haves" for the trip? The Gospel reading for Ash Wednesday is Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21: Jesus advising his disciples about the proper way to do alms-giving, prayer and fasting. Those three are traditional practices for Lent.

Alms-giving. Prayer. Fasting. How do I fit those into my bag? How do you?

One possibility for the prayer part is a resource from the Presbyterian Church, USA. It's a little family devotion for each day of Lent. Find it at http://www.pcusa.org/spiritualformation/lentendevotional2005.pdf

Living so close to the Philo Pres. sanctuary gives me the opportunity to start the day with morning prayers there. I'm usually there about 6:30. Let me know if you'd like to join me and I'll leave the door (to the "prayer closet"?) unlocked.


beabs said...

I'm packing. The prayer gathering at 6:30 sounds good, but I'm not on that route....will join you in spirit in my own closet same time, different place. Alms giving? Can we have a 2nd passing of the plate each Sunday during Lent to encourage us to "give up" more that our regular pledge/tithe? Fasting? Does anyone want to pledge sun-up to sun-down fasting each Monday of Lent? Sounds like a good challenge to me, and do-able. This trip is pretty lonely so far. Is anyone going to join us for the trip to the cross?

pastor cindy said...

These are good ideas.
Thanks for joining in morning prayer.
I will take the 2nd plate idea to the worship and stewardship teams. Maybe we could dedicate that money to empty tomb or for Heifer Project . . . or something else . . .
And I'll give the Monday fast a try with you. Have you done that before?
I'm reminded of the words of an old hymn - I Have Decided to Follow Jesus:
Though none go with me
Yet I will follow
Though none go with me
Yet I will follow
Though none go with me
Yet I will follow
No turning back. No turning back.