We're about to enter the season of Lent. Forty days of making space in our hearts and minds and lives for God's resurrection work. Forty days of losing ourselves in order to find and be found. Forty days of setting aside good things in order to receive something better. Forty days of taking up—or giving in to—new practices that help us draw nearer to God.
Last week I asked you about the tension of joy and sorrow during Lent—about feasting in a season of fasting—and wow! You filled my inbox with so many thoughtful and beautiful and wise responses (and not just about The Weekly Feast). You shared about feasting and fasting, your approaches to the Lenten season, your practices of keeping Sabbath, and generally holding the tension of both-and. Because the kingdom of God is both a present reality now and also not yet fully realized.
One repeating theme from your responses was the importance of love and the way it reorients our experiences. Two quotes particularly stood out.
"Very soon - most of our Christian tradition will begin the Great 100 Days (Lent-Easter) with a Rite of Ashes. Sadly, many will observe this solemn moment in sorrowing tones. This is neither why nor how it all began.
Early Christianity did not begin the season with sackcloth - but with the rejoicing shout of LOVE. The Season was not intended to bring us to our knees but to our feet - remembering that each of us is created in Love and for Love.
Why ash? Ash is one of nature's strongest nutrients. We are marked with ash to strengthen our growth and to know that LOVE is God's face and our own. Today the world greatly needs our radiance, our gracious and heroic action. Do not become deluded into believing this is an easy road. The call of love requires us to bow greatly and shed much. Are you ready?"
–Dr. Alexander John Shaia
"A feast is not just a table overflowing with food. It is a table overflowing with love as well."
–Dorothy C. Bass
I am so grateful for every single person who took the time to reply, or who just thoughtfully and quietly engaged with the questions on their own. This is a conversation I look forward to continuing with you for a long time. We'll continue to move in the direction of The Weekly Feast (timeline TBA).
In the meantime, we have Lent and Easter planners to show you, and we can't wait to hear what you think!