Dear Uniting Church Friends,
Welcome to this week’s Prayerful and Pastoral Reflections.
The season of Lent began yesterday on Ash Wednesday, a day named for the ritual of being marked with the ashes and oil in the sign of the Cross. We usually commemorate this with a gathering at the church (combined with pancakes), but this year our third Lockdown has prevented this happening (or at least delayed it a week).
This weeks prayer sheet includes some of the prayers we might have shared at our Ash Wednesday service. They are prayers that embrace the whole of life, with a focus on the shadows of our feelings and thoughts, the parts of ourselves we so often deny or hide. Lent is an honest time, a time of “facing up” to who we truly are, rather than the usual habit of “putting on a happy face” for the world.
Richard Rohr says…
Christians use the season of Lent to reconnect with God and the fullness of our own humanity—the good and the bad—in some intentional way. The act doesn’t need to be sacrificial or impressive, but … some form of contemplative practice, reflection, or commitment is a wonderful way to draw closer to God at this time.
He goes on to describe the experience of a friend who uses fishing as a time of contemplation, of connecting with nature and reflecting on life. He then observes that his own practice of walking the dog can also be a way of spending time in contemplation, connecting with nature and the world around us as well as with God.
The ancient Celts had prayers to accompany many daily chores; milking the cow, tending the sheep, lighting the fire. Their lives were filled with prayer, as they connected with the sacredness of everything around them, and pursued their daily work always mindful of the presence of God.
You might surprise yourself at times, finding that a usually mundane activity is an opportunity for contemplation and for connecting with God. Keep it in mind!
Also, if you drop into the church in the next couple of weeks, you will find a station with ashes, charcoal and prayers for reflection.
We are a prayerful community,
and we invite you to find
a quiet moment to meditate
with these reflections.
Love and Blessings to you all.
Charles and Kerrie.