I began my observation of Lent this morning, Ash Wednesday, praying these words in the daily office from Jeremiah:
"Why have you struck us down beyond all hope of healing?
We have looked for peace, but no good came; we have looked for the time of healing, but trouble came instead.
We acknowledge our wickedness, and the evil done by our ancestors:
we acknowledge that we have sinned.
Do not make us a reproach, for your name’s sake,
and do not make us a disgrace before the throne of your glory.
Remember the covenant you made with us: do not bring it to an end."
It seems to me that this is what Lent is all about. It is a time to take a long loving gaze at our brokenness, our own personal brokenness and that of the world around us. How many people are waking up today in situations of daily violence, be it a situation of civil war, the threat of unmanned drone attacks from the sky, a neighborhood facing daily gun violence, or a family plagued with domestic violence. Can we look at the violence in our own hearts and lives and cry out in solidarity, looking for peace, looking for healing?
Lamentation is important. So to is acknowledging our own brokenness and unhelpful actions. But it does not, it cannot stop there. We must also remember God's faithful love. And we must remember too that a loving relationship is a two way street.
I am making some simple changes to my daily life this Lent so that I have more quality time (read quiet) to devote to my own relationship with God. How about you?