Ash Wednesday

Today begins Lent. I’ve been thinking a lot about what my observation should be and I’m still a little fuzzy on it but some thoughts are now beginning to take shape. I was reading this morning’s lectionary and in it was part of the story of Jonah. It was the part where Ninevah repented & Jonah threw a fit because he really wanted them to be destroyed. Then there was the vine tantrum. He was kind of a brat. A couple of thoughts – God chose to work with a whiny brat. Interesting. Also, it put me on a path of thinking about being open to things that God does that are better than what I could think up.

Then I read this prayer of St. Francis:

May God bless you with discomfort. Discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart. Amen.

May God bless you with anger. Anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace. Amen.

May God bless you with tears. Tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain into joy. Amen.

May God bless you with foolishness. Enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done. Amen.

And the blessing of God, who creates, redeems and sanctifies, be upon you and all you love and pray for this day, and forever more. Amen.

Then I read about what some other folks are doing – giving up alcohol, chocolate, eating out. Eating out is something I should give up. I also thought about what would be a really sacrifice for me and, at the risk of sounding like a character from Clueless, it would be tough for me to give up clothes/shoe shopping. Then I started to think about what’s behind the eating out & the shopping and it led me to the idea of false comforts. What is behind the shopping & the comfort eating? Since I’ve been really exploring my relationship with food & money of late, I feel like that is the direction for me to go. I’m going to ponder today & in tonight’s service & see what comes up.

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