Easter means that new starts are possible.
Archives For liturgical year
This past Sunday was the first of Advent. As I have in past years, I’m planning on continuing a tradition of blogging through the season. To give you some background, here’s a description I wrote a few years back:
Advent is about waiting. Waiting isn’t fun. But it’s important. Enjoy.
This song is Easter.
LORD, you are the God who saves me;
day and night I cry out to you.
May my prayer come before you;
turn your ear to my cry.
I am overwhelmed with troubles
and my life draws near to death.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I am like one without strength.
I am set apart with the dead,
like the slain who lie in the grave,
whom you remember no more,
who are cut off from your care.
You have put me in the lowest pit,
in the darkest depths.
Your wrath lies heavily on me;
you have overwhelmed me with all your waves.
You have taken from me my closest friends
and have made me repulsive to them.
I am confined and cannot escape;
my eyes are dim with grief.
I call to you, LORD, every day;
I spread out my hands to you.
Do you show your wonders to the dead?
Do their spirits rise up and praise you?
Is your love declared in the grave,
your faithfulness in Destruction?
Are your wonders known in the place of darkness,
or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?
But I cry to you for help, LORD;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Why, LORD, do you reject me
and hide your face from me?
From my youth I have suffered and been close to death;
I have borne your terrors and am in despair.
Your wrath has swept over me;
your terrors have destroyed me.
All day long they surround me like a flood;
they have completely engulfed me.
You have taken from me friend and neighbor—
darkness is my closest friend.
The practices of Lent are to give some things up and take up others. Whether you give up something like sweets that you don’t need anyway, or something that is really meaningful, this is really difficult.
A friend of mine keeps talking about how difficult this season of Lent has been for him, because it makes him aware of how far he is from who he wants to be. Maybe that’s the point. Perhaps the first and most important work of Lent is that it forces us to name our weaknesses, distractions and shortcomings.
Maybe it’s less about giving stuff up, and more about realizing how much you need to give stuff up.