Lent and Seeing Ourselves: Opening to the Kingdom
Dear Kaleid Women,
Today we transition from the Kingdom of God series (one way of “seeing our city”--the eternal one, that is) to a new series that will allow us the opportunity to “see ourselves” in the season of Lent.
Lent is a 40-day season in the church calendar that precedes Easter. In this time, we intentionally open our lives and hearts to God’s quiet grace through confession, fasting, prayer, scripture reading, and almsgiving.
Lent is modeled after Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness where He was tempted but also strengthened, experiencing human frailty and the strong love of God, all at once. In our own awareness of our humanness, which we can access via physical spiritual disciplines like fasting, we begin to see our own frailty and to encounter the grace of God more deeply.
Whether or not you “observe” Lent with physical practices, we encourage you today to watch--to observe--the mortality that you possess. After all, today is Ash Wednesday. This is a day that we all remember that we are but dust. Dust is both the stuff of insignificance and grime and it is the creative raw material of God’s life-generating Spirit. We are nothing; we are everything. (This truth, as the rabbis traditionally pronounce.)
The kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21). As such, it has taken up residence in a dusty home with space for so much creative grace.
May this poem encourage your heart on this Ash Wednesday.
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.
― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
The Kaleid Team
P.S. - For more on Lent, see this article.