Today is Ash Wednesday and for many Christians around the world this begins the observance of Lent. I will not go into the theology of today because I am not a theologian. I will advise it is a religious tradition that I observe and have observed for many years, even prior to joining the Lutheran denomination. There is something about Ash Wednesday that centers me in my Christian faith.
The Lenten season is during the six weeks prior to Easter, where it is time to reflect and give penitence. During some years rather than giving up something, I will focus on giving, such as volunteering to a food shelter. This year Lent begins while we are still dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. The world looks and moves a little differently. Life is slowly getting back to normal with vaccinations being administrated in phases but there is still a little ways to go.
This Lenten season I have decided to give up something that I was consuming as a comfort food. And in lieu of feeding fear and anxiety I will use prayer and focus energy in meditation. Today The Upper Room daily devotion focused on coping with a barren season. It seems like since mid March of 2020 the world has been coping with a similar crisis. Depending on your type of employment jobs have been lost and businesses have shut down. There has been some governmental assistance but for many this is a bleak time of uncertainty.
I am dealing with my own uncertain situations. Places that I find refuge like the library or movie theaters are closed. I am an optimist most times and now call on that energy. This Ash Wednesday there is a lot on my mind but I am working to cleanse my spirit and focus on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. My faith is what gets me through difficult times and the coronavirus pandemic is one such time.
My church has been creative in continuing to provide a worship experience during physical distancing. In various phases from posting a video recorded worship service with four people, to creation of a video with multiple persons, to live-streaming a limited attendance service, my Pastor and worship team have been creative. I have been humbled to be a part of these various phases bringing determination to create and edit video when this was not a prior skill. Even for those without internet there has been worship over the phone.
Spiritual and religious faith is a life-long journey. I wrote about my journey in March 2017 and my growth continues. One of the greatest lessons that I learned from my grandfather was no matter your age seek to learn something new every day. I believe this to be the same with my faith journey. I leave you with this no matter your faith or lack of seek to be a kinder person in this world.