The Lent Podcast series
Week 1, Ash Wednesday
Joyous celebration sings “Bawo ndixolele” Father forgive me.
I am your child, even though I have sinned. I appeal to you, father forgive me
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the
sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrijt hearts, that
we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain
of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus
Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for
ever and ever. Amen.
Jesus said, “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
“So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the liturgical season of Lent. In the early church Lent was the season of preparation for baptism. Baptism is the ritual of incorporation into the church. For both members and prospective members of the church Lent was a season of renunciation. A time to turn away from “the world, the flesh and the devil.” On Ash Wednesday many of us take up a Lenten discipline. That discipline may be to drop a vice or to add a virtue. Perhaps you have decid- ed for this time to avoid alcohol, cigarettes or sugar or to extend the amount of time you spend in meditation or prayer. You may indeed have decided to fast…either from food or from anger. Any of these disciplines can be transformative. Not smoking or drinking alcohol an add years to your life and free hours in your day. Time in prayer can yield insights into how you are living your life and create shifts in your attitude. There is a theological and psychological truth to teaching in the. Gospel reading we have just heard. Sharing our planned discipline with others plays a little trick on our minds. Rather than creating an accountability partner, talking about our discipline can trick the mind into thinking we have done the thing we are talking about. Even though we have done noth-ing. The purpose of a lenten discipline is not to win applause from our community for being good.
The point of every Lenten discipline is to open more space in our lives for encounters with God.
Question: This Lent how will you make space to meet and see God?
May God bless you and keep you
May God make Gods face shine upon you
May God be gracious to you
And give you peace.
gepubliceerd op 22 februari 2023