Written by Shannon McAdam
Co-president, Canada West Mission Centre
Looking Towards Lent
It’s interesting to me the variety of experiences that we have of the season of Lent in Community of Christ. You may have embraced the observance of Lent as a way to deepen your spiritual life. You might think of Lent as an oppressive or restrictive practice that’s almost more like a new year’s resolution. You may have never really thought about what observing Lent could mean for you.
I’d never really thought much or known much about Lent when I was growing up in Community of Christ. I began to learn more about it when I was in seminary at Vancouver School of Theology and was amongst classmates of different Christian backgrounds. There I learned the practice of taking on a new spiritual discipline, and perhaps giving something up as a way of making space for that new practice. For example, someone might give up an hour of watching TV at the end of the day and replace it with an hour of bible study or meditation. What I liked about this was that they weren’t just giving something up, but finding something life-giving to replace it with. This appealed to me, and I began my own practice of giving up the snooze button on my wakeup alarm for Lent! I replaced that snooze time with morning meditation.
For years this has been my practice. Now you might wonder “why don’t you just permanently give up that snooze button Shannon?” And there have been times where, beyond Lent, I’ve stuck to it. But when I’m “off the wagon” and snoozing again, Lent is often the perfect time to give it back up again. Something beautiful happens as our days lengthen in springtime and getting up gets a bit easier each day. There is something very holy for me in being able to witness that change of the season, and that holiness of morning quiet light helps me renew my commitment to intentional time with the Holy One.
This year Lent begins on March 2nd, and yes, I will be giving up the old snooze button again! I’ll also be inviting others to walk the Lenten path with me through reflecting with poetry, chant, and spiritual practices. Stay tuned to the Weekly Wire for more details coming soon about a weekly virtual gathering during Lent! I hope to see you there, and I hope you have a blessed Lenten season, however you choose to observe it.
Yours in Christ,
Shannon, Gwyn and Kat
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