I suspect that none of us like change, when we’re truly honest with ourselves. Even the prospect of change carries with it (for some of us) potential connotations of accusation: if we admit to the need for change, then we also sometiems have to admit to our participation in the circumstances that need to be changed. In other words, we need to admit to having been wrong. And that sort of admission can make what seemed like valuable solid ground to us into something far less certain, far less comforting. And that is a fearful place to be, when it seems like there’s precious little certainty in the world around us, or within us.
This is why I appreciate the words of The Rev. Jan Kwiatkowski in her opening reflection for Ash Wednesday—and Lent as a whole:
Most of us are probably not going to be performing frequent big, bold acts of courage, but each of us is called to the bold, daily action of loving God and each other with our whole selves. We are called to let our most protected selves be vulnerable to God’s transforming love. We are called to increase the strength of our ability to respond in love. We are called to learn, to listen, and perhaps to change our minds about what we think we know about God and God’s wildly generous love. We are called to look at where we have been wrong or done wrong and take courageous steps to heal the harm we have caused.
I am already finding Living Compass’s series of Lent reflections, ‘Living Well Through Lent 2020’ helpful in opening myself to this journey from fear to courage. If you haven't already picked up a copy, visit the website and check out the options for having a daily reading appear in your email in-box.
And may this Sunday’s collect be yours as well, as we journey together this Season:
Spirit of the desert,
you drove Jesus to the edge of the world
to seek your truth and find his calling:
scour our hearts and awaken our hunger,
so that freed from empty clinging
we may serve only you and the Creator;
through Jesus Christ, the Lord of the wilds. Amen.
Prayers for an Inclusive Church (2009) alt.