Deep calls to Deep

 ‘Deep calls to Deep’

Tomorrow Lent begins with Ash Wednesday; watch for an invite to our online service.  

Lent is traditionally a time when we give up something for six weeks.  Our laying certain practices aside is intended to be an aid to spiritual reflection and a reminder that the life of discipleship also takes self-discipline.  Remember that ‘self-control’ is one of the fruit of the Spirit.

Several years ago, Lauren Winner who teaches and writes on Christian spirituality, suggested that we ‘give up anxiety’ for Lent.  A great idea but is it possible?  I want to suggest one small way to aid us in doing that.

I invite you to take an index card and write down the following: On side one, a prayer.

Goodness is stronger than evil;                                                   

          love is stronger than hate;                                                          

          light is stronger than darkness;                                                 

          life is stronger than death;                                                               

          victory is ours through Jesus who loved us.  Amen

        -Desmond Tutu-

And on the other side some verses from Ephesians 3. 

I ask the Father to strengthen you by his Spirit – that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in.  And I ask the Father that with both feet firmly planted on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love.’                                   [Ephesians 3 - MESSAGE]

Carry the card with you, read and ponder the words regularly.  Perhaps a threefold rhythm of morning, noon, and bedtime?  Commit your anxieties and concerns to God and ‘plant both feet firmly’ in Christ’s love.

Our Sunday Lenten series this year is entitled DEEP CALLS TO DEEP from LEADER magazine (Mennonite Church Canada).  As a way for you to participate the writers suggest the following ritual that can be done by each household.  This week gather six stones per person.  They will represent your prayers for this season.  Place them in a bowl or glass in the space in which you worship with our congregation online.

Each of the six Sundays of Lent, as a response to the ways we are being called, we will take time for you to remove a stone from the vessel. Week to week, we will watch the vessel empty, as we dig deeper for what is essential.  We will take time as you remove the stone, to use a marker to write on the stone either the calling word of the day (relationship, commitment, etc.) or a personal response to the given weekly questions. The stone is a reminder for you to reflect throughout the week about how God is calling you.

PRAYER:   God, you are present with us in our daily struggles.  Keep us clearly focused on Your kingdom as our end and Your love as our means.  Do not let us be diverted by temptation, but strengthen us by Your Holy Spirit for commitment to You alone.  Amen