Lent has begun. Whether you received ashes yesterday or not, whether you picked up a Lenten devotional or not, I hope you will find some way in the weeks ahead to observe Lent as a season of repentance – of turning to God anew, and allowing God’s transformative power of love, healing and forgiveness to take hold within you – and, indeed, within our larger community.
To this end, Lakeshore will provide a few Lenten reflections each week – reflections written by a variety of Lakeshorians – offered with the hope that together, we might engage more fully in listening for God and turning more fully toward God, in this season that leads us to the cross and to resurrection.
Fasting is often associated with Lent, an opportunity to say no to something that perhaps isn’t serving you well, so that you can open yourself up to something that might serve you better. While fasting isn’t necessary to observe Lent, below are some suggestions for ways to fast – in order that you might feast on something nurturing during this sacred season. (This compilation comes from Cheryl Perry.) I invite you to consider what gives you life, and what doesn’t, as the journey through Lent begins.
- Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.
- Fast from criticism; feast on praise.
- Fast from self-pity; feast on joy.
- Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
- Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence.
- Fast from jealousy; feast on love.
- Fast from discouragement; feast on hope.
- Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.
- Fast from selfishness; feast on service.
- Fast from fear; feast on faith.
- Fast from anger; feast on patience.
- Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.
- Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
Blessings on the Lenten Journey,
PS – In the wake of yesterday’s shootings, I offer not only prayers for all affected, but also a fervent call for a fast from ignoring the impact of escalating gun violence in our society and a feast on advocacy, policy making and creating a world with far less violence.