Most Unitarian Universalists do not observe Lent. I started observing Lent in 2012 and have found it to be a powerful practice to connect me to the Holy, immerse myself the teachings of Jesus, and dive deeply into recognizing the God within as I peel back the layers that work as barriers to the Holy.
This year I am offering a weekly email ministry to share in observing Lent as Unitarian Universalists. If you are interested you can sign up here. To view the email sent out earlier today which contains the following blog post along with other information, click here.
Under Construction: Preparation for Lent
Living a life of faith is a never ending, always evolving cycle. In some ways, we are always under construction. I have considered that this may even be true in death, that we just keep developing as more is revealed. Of course, there’s no way to know that for certain. Though, it’s pretty observably true for life.
As we prepare to enter the season of Lent (Ash Wednesday is next week) I am considering how I want to observe this holy period and what I want to give up. Sacrifice is a major theme of Lent, it reminds us of the sacrifice of Jesus of Nazareth as he went to the cross and met his death. Whether you believe he was crucified as some pre-destined decree by God to grant us salvation or you believe he was a wise teacher and radical for social and political reform, his death holds meaning worth exploring.
Fasting as part of Lent reminds us of our commitment to our Faith, connects us in an embodied manner to the story of Jesus, and makes room for the Holy in our lives.
In years past in lieu of fasting I have embraced practices with writing or photography in an attempt to savor the sweetness of life and be grateful. This year feels like a sacrifice year. I know I have to give something up, something that blocks the Holy from entering my life. There are a myriad of ways we numb ourselves to the Holy in an attempt to shut out discomfort and painful emotions. The problem is we shut out everything. We use television, alcohol, drugs, and sugar to shut down, numb out, escape.
Lent is about more than giving up chocolate. What is taking up space in your life that prevents you from experiencing the Holy? What behavior has become routine that doesn’t elevate you to your best self? What do you know, deep in your gut, you need to step away from because it is owning you?
Fasting is one aspect of Lent, but an important one. Join me in creating change in your life for 40 days. While Matthew 16-18 encourages us to fast in silence, I encourage finding a friend or small group of friends to share your experiences throughout Lent. We know we are stronger in community. For a more interactive experience, you can leave a comment here. I’d love to hear how your journey goes.