This time of year can be disheartening with bitter cold or snowy days and a certain let-down feeling after the holidays. In recent weeks there has been an obvious increase in the visible daylight each day. Making the commute home becomes more enjoyable when no longer driven totally in the dark. This is a small step toward spring and the earth’s renewal in a new season. It brings gladness much like crossing off a finished task.
In the coming weeks we’ll experience a unique Wednesday on February 14, 2018. This year the day will mark the first time since 1945 that Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday have converged on the calendar. (Thanks to the wonder of the Internet for this handy fact!)
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent for the Christian world. A time when we are each called to a period of self-reflection. It presents a unique opportunity each year in our Christian faith journey. What if this Lenten season provides a means for examining practices that might help us live this life more fully? How do we find ways for allowing the Spirit of God to be more abundantly at the center of our life? Might you list some ideas to undertake this Lent?
With the approach of Valentine’s Day we seek ways of sharing expressions of our love, affection and caring for family and friends near and far. You might make a list of who to purchase (or make) a card for or what gift you might to purchase or prepare. Seeking meaningful ways of sharing our feelings for others often in a tangible manner.
Maybe those acts of reflection are what tie Lent and Valentine’s Day together. Both call us to contemplate how we live in relation with others. Micah 6:8, a passage familiar to many, says “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” For me, encapsulated in this brief statement is a way of living which can allow seeing and experiencing God in the every day. This passage provides great comfort and joy when justice, mercy and humbleness are kept at the top of the list!
Janet Anderson, PCWS Member
February 4, 2018