Whew! After six worship services, four rehearsals, hours of set up and tear down, creating videos, powerpoints, coordinating volunteers, and many prayers (some frantic and desperate, others more reflective and contemplative) I can say with Jesus, “It is finished!” Of course, his work was the greatest and most difficult deed in all of history. Mine was just a very small part to continue the proclamation and remembrance of this great event to our generation.
I have a couple snippets of reflection; things that empowered my life over the past 47 days, when I took on the ashen cross to commence the season of Lent. I made a commitment to be more focused on the Lord and more faithful in my rhythms. So here are a few things I picked up:
– As in the Lent tradition, I chose to not say the word, “Alleluia” until Easter Sunday. It’s not that I didn’t praise God during that time. I praised Him constantly during my Personal Worship Times, Worship in the Everyday Ordinary, with my small and large faith communities. But I chose to reserve the word “Alleluia” until Resurrection Day. And when I said it (it was at 4am on Easter Sunday; in preparation for Sunrise Service), it was like an “explosion” of joy coming out of my mouth. I praise God for many things, but to praise Him for conquering the powers of darkness and death through the Resurrection is the greatest. That word has a deeper meaning to me, as does the event that begins all the “Alleluias.
– Praying “Fixed Hour Prayer” and Lectio Divina on the Lectionary passages throughout Lent was a wonderful journey. Something very powerful happened in my soul as I walked with Jesus and the disciples in the Gospel readings. When Palm Sunday came, as I read about Jesus setting his face like flint toward Jerusalem and the Cross, I felt that turn. The spiritual intensity was ratcheted up a couple of notches. I was no longer just reading about the journey – I was on the journey and finding myself in the Gospel stories!
– The Lenten way of the Cross, combined with a new discipline that I’m learning (called “Welcoming Prayer” – more on that in future blogs), has helped me to overcome tendencies and patterns that lead to darkness. There has definitely been some “dying” going on, especially toward how I react to hard situations or interactions.
As a Baptist (or Presbyterian, for that matter), I was never really taught about the rhythm of the Church calendar. But spending the past Lent season in these spiritual practices have opened up a new door for me. I can’t wait to see and experience what the Lord has for me in the next 50 day season … to Pentecost!
What new spiritual discipline or practice has helped you expand your Whole Life Worship to God?
What was meaningful to you during Easter, Good Friday, Holy Week or Lent?
2 thoughts on “Post Lent Reflections”
Thanks for all your work in preparation and execution of this season’s activities! The Easter service was great! I was still so tender that I choked up a couple hours later just telling Aaron about it. Then we sat for extended family meal, with a third Saudi student visiting along with her two young daughters. It was great when Wiam asked “We want to know hat is Easter all about?” We shared the whole story of the Passion to Easter and the hope that it gives, as they all listened and asked questions, occasionally telling what the Koran says. Of course the Koran teaches that Jesus didn’t die, but rather God switched him out at the last moment, taking him to Heaven and putting someone else on the cross. That would be a nice story but thankfully it’s not OUR story!! Beautiful time – Then we transitioned to hunting for Easter eggs 🙂 but seeds were sown.
Awesome, Benjamin! I’m grateful for the ways you and Susan share the love of Christ to others – especially to those in the Muslim community. Glad to be in this journey of whole life worship with you!