Monthly Archives: February 2010

Two Thoughts for Lenten Week One

The first thought has to do with temptation:
Christ goes to pray in a private place–the desert. In the Holy Land a desert is not like California’s death Valley. Yes, it is hot during the day and cold at night but not unbearably so. It is flat land and treeless or with low growing vegetation, more brown than green. A great place to relax and think peaceful thoughts, to look to what might be ahead and what one can do to be part of the future. I suggest “re treating” to a private place and spending some quality time alone or with a good and highly recommended spiritual reading book. I don’t know if what happened to Jesus will happen to you. Anyway, after these 40 days of private time, Jesus receives a visitor. None other than the devil. The evil one throws out a good line to this hungry person–good food, worship evil, be a daredevil and tempt someone to save you.
If Jesus can be tempted how about me? I certainly do not have all the protectors that he has. What I do notice is that after all the temptings and Christ’s refusal to follow them, the devil left him alone. but with plans to return at a later date!
The second thought:
EVIL–the word just adds a D to become devil..I never made that connection until my private thought time. So I decided to think about this evil person.
I do not think that he has a red suit, is terribly scary or ugly. If he were frightening we would not ever be tempted to follow his ideas rather than good ones. So he must seem pretty nice, speak with a beautiful voice and be easy to listen to and follow. Maybe sometimes he is disguised as a she or HORRORS! maybe I am the great tempter! I am going to spend some time thinking about how I am tempted as well as by whom I am tempted. This just might be self-revealing…

Gloom and Doom

That’s how I feel about Lent. I know we are supposed to be thinking of all the things we have in our lives that are not right. And I have a lot of them–like everyone but…forty days of thinking, kind of scares me.
Each day when I rise I ask God to guide me through the day so I won’t knowingly hurt anyone and each evening I spend some time going over my day to see if I acted the way I wanted to and treated everybody I met the way I would want them to treat me.
That said I now know that I am preparing for the great feast of Easter. Christmas is really for kids. I love it also but just watching children enjoy the celebrations is a good treat for the adult in me.
Easter is the grown-up celebration. It is a lot more than bunnies, chicks and painted eggs. And the six weeks before the Sunday is the time to prepare your inner self to celebrate this cornerstone of belief in God. Because that is what Easter is; a belief, a faith in things that ought to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that Jesus was who he said he was.
Today I walk around with a black smudge on my forehead indicating that I am aware of the fact that I am dust (The Bible says that Adam was made from God’s spit into dirt and the mud fashioned into man.) and as the priest who anointed me with the ashes of burned palm finishes this sentence with: and unto dust you will return, I realize I have some heavy duty changing to do to get ready for that Easter day.
So I begin this journey with the effort of putting the doom and gloom behind me and recognizing that the snow will vanish and the earth will begin to awaken and birds will come back and flowers will spring up and I will realize that the Scriptures tell of life–all of life–good and bad.
So I will make some promises to do something to get rid of the doom and gloom. Hopefully these practices will lighten my soul and free me to reflect on those who love me. God loves me more than I can imagine and these days become the welcoming of Spring into my life.
This will be my holy time when I look for the things I have to change to make me a better person by endeavoring to shed those old ways I am so unproud of.
My thoughts then are to give up a bad habit or practice which might hurt someone else and to do something positive which will open me to
listen to Scripture and its promise of eternal happiness by making the doom and gloom become the JOY and GLORY of Resurrection!