Several recent conversations have included, in one form or another, important questions about why Lent is such a big deal, whether or not we are to give up or take on something, and is there a right way to “do” Lent. In light of these conversations, my fixation on the progression of Lent in church history and time in meditation have revealed a somewhat universal response that goes something like this: Lent is a time to be still, look, and listen.
To be still, to look, and to listen basically is to be mindful – to exercise the art of mindfulness about the omnipresence of God the Creator both within us and around us – in everything. In all things, God is there, particularly as we are sinful and broken human beings who all seek healing from something toward wholeness. Awareness of the presence of God will bless us each time we become still enough to think about it.
Creatively and daily, Christians are to be still, look, and listen as we approach life in a myriad of ways during the forty-day season of Lent and prepare for the gift of resurrection. This exercise, mindfulness, includes increased prioritization of participating even more in the worship, formation, fellowship, and service opportunities of St. Peter’s for all are offered to keep us mindful of – and responsive to what it means to follow Jesus.
Our desire and ultimate ability to be mindful along the way will, without fail, point to a Holy Week and Triduum (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Great Vigil of Easter/Easter Day) that have fresh meaning. The end of our forty-day discipline of mindfulness will be an occasion when we are rewarded by and renewed in the Spirit by the Light of Christ.
Let us press on in Lent by being still, looking, and listening. Our loving God is there.
The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector