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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Inspired by . . . ascent into darkness

The room is bathed in a heavy golden light. I can feel the warmth of it, even though there are walls between me and the source.

I'm thinking about hell. 

The darkness  that Jesus descended into after He finished the work of the cross. This time between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, these forty hours, is where the season of Lent, as we know it today, began. A forty-hour fast, mirroring the time Christ spent in the grave. In darkness, separated from God.

For my sin.

I've never celebrated Lent before. I wasn't raised, and have never attended churches that followed the "church calendar." I didn't even know there was such a thing. To me the church calendar was a list of scheduled activities: game night, baptism services, Mother's Day, Fall Festival, etc.

But last year, during a time when I was entering my own period of darkness, God began to show me that there is a rhythm to His days. Just as He created the seasons, Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, there are seasons to our walk with Him. There is more to celebrate than Christmas and Easter.

I began learning about "ordinary days" - which aren't ordinary at all. I began to see that each moment, each day is sacred, when we invite God to be actively involved. 

This isn't easy with the lives we have and the culture in which we live. It takes attention, and a measure of discipline. That's where Lent comes in. 

It's a time of emptying. A time of sorrow over the cause of Christ's death.

My sin.

To me - a non-churched in the ways of Lent person - fasting {or giving something up} is not the point. Creating space in my life for my relationship with God, is the point. Maybe I have to give up something to create that space, maybe I don't, either way, the focus is on God, not MY sacrifice.

This year, I have decided to join my friend, Kimberlee Conway Ireton, in meditating on the Psalms of Ascent during this time. As she says,
During Lent we get to journey with Jesus as He makes His way to Jerusalem for the last time. What better songs to sing in this season than these Psalms of Ascent, sojourning songs of the faithful? What better way to prepare for the Triduum than to meditate on these pilgrim songs, songs our Lord Himself sang as He climbed the mountain of the Lord, to offer Himself as our Passover lamb?
Will you join me? 
We begin later this week, with Psalm 120.


Footnote: If you're interested in learning more, Kimberlee's book, The Circle of Seasons, will introduce you to the rhythms that help us slow down, and  enable us to invite God into our every day. You may find it here

Sharing inspiration here:
Playdates with God, Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth, Weekend Whispers,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Still Saturday

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If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June