February 22nd, 2012
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Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.
For those who can gather at 7:30 tonight, we’ll have a service in the chapel with the imposition of ashes on our foreheads.
I will invite those present to consider some form of fasting during Lent, a practice that goes back to ancient Israel, and other religions, too. The traditional practice is to abstain from food (not water, or, better, fruit juices) for a time. That might mean not eating for 24 hours, if you can (check with your doctor if you have any questions). It might mean skipping a meal one day a week. Again, some medical conditions make a food fast not feasible.
A fast can also involve turning your TV off for a week, or not using your cell phone for a day, or any of a hundred other variations and ideas.
The point is to find a time and way to interrupt your habits and ask God to be present. And, if it makes sense, to respond in some meaningful way. You might donate the cost of lunch to GEDCO’s food pantry or to ACTC. You might write a letter instead of calling. You might read instead of TV.
Another possibility is a “carbon fast”—discovering ways to reduce your carbon footprint. If that is of interest, you may sign up to receive a daily email from the 2012 Ecumenical Lenten Carbon Fast.
Click here to learn more: http://macucc.org/pages/detail/2410
Click here to sign up (http://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/manage/optin/ea?v=001qi8i2NccjZ4qnzUqCHK8T27YjgUkvQuw1TQN3L2drzDplziG5lvOSCvl3bmRZXC5wjMzomrZ4vK4nZ99R645HtNaylzDhPYN)
If you sign up, beginning Ash Wednesday and throughout Lent, participants will receive a daily email with the day’s suggested carbon-reducing activity. When possible, this will include a quantitative measure of the carbon reduction resulting from the activity. Those who are willing then could share how it’s going during Fellowship on Sundays. They may gather in the Parlor.
Finally, for those who would like a daily devotional, you can try Journey to the Cross: http://www.d365.org/journeytothecross/. You can sign up to receive a daily email prompt at the very end of the devotional.
May your Lent be filled with the presence of God the Holy parent, God the Holy Son, and God the Holy Spirit.