This is our last Sunday before Lent. This place where we sit on the threshold and doorways of change. We’re leaving behind one thing and headed on a journey to another.
It’s a time we’re asked to repent. To “spring cleanse” for the season of Resurrection. We’re asked to give up and let go. We’re asked to pare down to the essentials. We’re asked to focus on what really matters without distraction.
For Jesus, this is a time when he comes into his full growth as divine on Earth. This is what the kids are exploring in this next “leg” of their journey with the PRAY program. Miracles. Full growth of Being. Fully present. Ready to take on the the bigger challenge.
Ready to walk the road.
Are we ready to walk with Jesus on this journey?
Perhaps, we can ask ourselves another question. How can Jesus be a doorway to God/Grace? How can we Allow Jesus to help us? Can we be guided to go in the right direction as we step off of the safe doorway and Journey to the Cross.
It’s easy to stay home. It’s easy to close the door. Lock it. Easy to cling to safety. And we can come up with so many reasons why we’ve had enough and it’s not our time.
Doorways bring us to another space. To the road. To another room. To another place. To another time. It’s part of the gift of growth and wisdom that we can be in two places in time. The past, the future. We are here, now, but walk with Jesus, then.
I’ve found, and I’m sure I’m not alone, that we can step off the threshold, go through the door, with intention and practice and preparation or…
Eventually, we get nudged, pushed, or kicked out the door. Prepared or not.
Perhaps Lent is our preparation for the things in life we would rather not face.
After all, the journey to the cross echoes the inevitable hurts in life we don’t want to shine light on, we don’t want to open. But it is the spiritual work. It’s not all about Jesus. It’s about his example for us. What do we do when we are hurting and in anguish? Do we turn away from the pain and shrink? Or do we love and forgive? Do we grow? Do we connect with a deeper Grace?
How do we prepare? Perhaps we are never fully prepared, but we can prepare. Perhaps that is why this is a season of repentance and shedding and letting go. To bare essentials and also to remind us of what we truly need and what truly matters. And all, ALL of what truly matters, is with us at all times…
As we stand on the threshold of Lent, it’s good to take stock. Perhaps eat all the good stuff on Shrove Tuesday or take it to it’s extreme of Mardi Gras/Carnival proportions.
Perhaps too…discover where we are and what we have. Inside and out.
I was given a gem this month that I loved. It is a Hebrew quote: be careful of “Scattering our Souls.”
Yes, we’re scattered. Trauma: too much, too fast. We’re anchor-less and scattered. We’re busy, tired, exhausted, frazzled, all over the place, never finished, overworked, under appreciated, lost, afraid, anxious, unsure…the list could go on. But how deep is our scattering?
Scattering of Souls.
Scattered in mind, body, and soul. It’s all interconnected.
Lent helps us to Gather ourselves together and prepare. To become more fully intentional and focused.
Because eventually we will be nudged, pushed, or kicked off the threshold.
How do we Gather ourselves back together? We connect and reconnect. We show up to life and friends and community. We show up to loved ones. We become and discover Compassionate Companions for the Journey. We help one another on our Journeys. We unite and connect to one another to practice patience, and kindness, and love.
We can hide in our homes, or step off the threshold to deeper, more loving relationships to one another. Our job is to help heal one another and the world where we are. Now. By supporting one another, not tearing each other down and holding each other back. Together.
Perhaps, in making space for more Gathering of people and community, there is a clearing out of space. Things that distract us from one another and being Compassionate Companions to one another. Yes, maybe that’s committing to vacuuming or finding the dining room after two years of disuse. Resurrecting our Shared Spaces.
Perhaps too, we need to connect to our own Self. Gather those pieces of our Souls and bring them back to our hearts. The place of Grace within. Notice what happens to our relationship to ourselves when we’re scattered and anxious and fearful. More than one person I’ve been with has said they have literally stood in the middle of a room and turned in circles. This isn’t good. We’re scattered in body, mind and soul.
We need time for self care. Contemplative prayer. Scripture reading. Reading of sacred books or uplifting books or thinking books. Meditation. Hymn singing. Walk in Nature. Sitting in the Sanctuary. Taking a bath. Self care works if we do it. It heals the soul, so we can get back to healing our body and minds and step out for our job to heal one another and the world where we are. Now.
Prayer. Connect to Grace. Yes, the please helps! Yes, I’m scared and lost and alone. But also, remember the gratitude and the thank you. Quiet time with Self connects us to our inner Grace, which then connects us to the bigger Grace. And it reminds us that we’re blessed. Exactly as we are. Can we begin that blessing to the light and be beacons of light for one another?
Lent can be a time of shedding and disconnecting. I suggest: connect. To one another through Good Company. To your Self through quiet, reflective time. Then connecting to Grace, however you know is your way of connecting. Make that space.
Connect to truth. Is giving up chocolate really impacting your ability to connect with the bigger mystery? Or just bringing down more guilt and shame and not enough and “bad” labels. Make your practice bigger than that. It’s time. We are strong enough. We are strong enough.
Set an intention for practice as you step off the threshold into lent this week. What is your Why? What is your practice? How can you care for yourself and your space so that you can truly help and do your part to spread goodness into this world?
Make space to connect and practice love. Clear the way, yes, make space to be in company. Maybe that’s cleaning the living room for visitors and those Soul Conversations.
Make space for your Quiet time with grace and Grace. Maybe that means you clear out a sacred space for you. Perhaps to reflect on what can you do and offer? Remember, we don’t do it alone, we support one another who are also doing good work and it spreads. It spreads if we are all doing our part! It’s time to step off the threshold.
Add love. Add prayer. Add gratitude. Add Nature.
Open the doorway to love and abundance.
And “allow”. Allow is actually an advanced practice. Don’t force and do and resist. Allow. Don’t lament and react. Allow. Don’t hold back the tears of pain, tears of joy. Allow.
Allow things to fall away to make space for more Grace.
Allow things to hurt when they hurt.
Allow God to be with you on this journey off the safe threshold.
Allow yourself to become strong in compassion on a Journey to opening the wounds to the light. It is only through opening the wounds to the light that we can truly see clearly to heal.
Let us Pray: God, Loving Grace, help us to heal our scatterings. Our scattered bodies. Our scattered minds. Our scattered emotions. Our scattered egos. Our scattered souls. Bring us back to wholeness. Bring our scattered pieces together. Help us to heal.
Guide us to wholeness, so that collectively we can do our Good Work. Guide us to be strong enough to bring together the scattered world and her scattered people. Be with us, so that we can do our part to heal the world. Help us to heal.
God, Loving Grace, make us whole. Bring us together into peace. Amen