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Archive for Sunday, March 11, 2012

Faith Forum: How do you observe Lent?

March 11, 2012

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The Rev. Rob Baldwin, pastor, Trinity Episcopal Church, 1011 Vt.:

I am doing things both on an individual level and with the church.

On Wednesday evenings I am leading a discussion group on the topic of grace, the gift of love and salvation that we received from God in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

As part of the study, every participant (myself included) is invited daily to read a passage of scripture, reflect and pray about it, and then write in a journal about their reflections.

The journal doesn’t have to be something regimented — you can draw, write poetry or just jot down random words that come to you.

At each weekly session we gather to worship, share a meal and then selectively share our journaling with the rest of the class.

The goal is to learn to be able to listen to God as a daily part of our faith, and to grow in our understanding of the transformational nature of God’s love for the world as best revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

— Send email to Rob Baldwin at rb@trinitylawrence.org.

Charles Gruber, member, Oread Friends Meeting, 1146 Ore.:

Lent, according to some texts, is as much about addition as subtraction. I like the idea of the PIES model (physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual). Physically, even though I’ve been a sugar junkie for most of my 67 years, I have given up sugar for Lent (this is a harder subtraction than I expected). Intellectually, I am reading texts and querying many people from different paths about their understanding of Lent (addition). Emotionally, I have given up the practice of cursing drivers on the road who make me unhappy, blessing them instead (subtraction, addition). Spiritually, in my prayers and meditations, I have been seeking a satisfactory avenue for activating the mindfulness and thankfulness that seem to be the central foci for Lent (addition).

I am struck about my cravings for sugar. All day, every day. I am using the arising of craving to remind me to be mindful. All day, every day. For this I am thankful.

I am amazed at the variety of approaches to Lent that friends and family and different texts take. They span the gamut from privation to illumination. For this I am thankful.

I have been embracing the opportunity every day to bless other drivers rather than curse them. Extrapolating this to my other activities leads me to a fine definition of compassion. For this I am thankful.

Bringing awareness to all of my behaviors allows me to be aware of the conscious and unconscious choices I make, moment to moment. This allows me to embrace abundance rather than privation. I give up my sense of privation in celebration of the Lenten season. For this I am thankful.

— Send e-mail to Charles Gruber at cgruber@cgruber.com.

Comments

FloridaSunshine 2 years, 9 months ago

Reverend Rob...

How I enjoyed everything you wrote. I believe this is a significant way to get the most spiritual adventure from Lent. If I were in Lawrence during this blessed time, I would join you all.

Grace is what Christianity is all about, isn't it? I LOVE the idea of meeting with others, reading and praying about a passage of Scripture...and then journaling our thoughts to share with each other in whatever way suits our own personalities.

Your last sentence says it all. How I look forward to that most precious celebration...the resurrection of Jesus Christ...Christianity encapsulated in that very moment of time!! He is Risen!! Spread the news!! Tell the world!! What a life-altering occurrence. It has been for me and I am thankful every day of my life...no way to hold the news inside one's heart!! Oh, the joy of it!!!

Reverend Rob, thank you for sharing. BEAUTIFUL...!!!

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