‘The Pull Of God’
A Lenten reflection series adapted with permission from PrayerBench.ca
Creating the space
Today we begin our journey of Lent. Each Wednesday I will be sending out a reflection for you to ponder on for the week. It may be helpful to create a Lent space for yourself. This is the liturgical time of purple - perhaps you have a purple cloth, or scarf or fabric that you can put in your space.
You might take some time to reflect on or to research the meaning of the colour purple and name for yourself what purple means to you this Lent.
You might want to have a candle and maybe choose to add a different candle for each week of Lent.
It might be helpful to have a journal or notebook for your reflections, doodles, and prayers.
I invite you to read Psalm 90. Take it slow.
Remain with the words or phrases that call to you or intrigue you.
Soften your heart and expect to hear an expression of consolation or challenge. Maybe both.
Are there words here for your Lent journey?
1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.
2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3 You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
4 A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.
5 Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death— they are like the new grass of the morning:
6 In the morning it springs up new, but by evening it is dry and withered.
7 We are consumed by your anger and terrified by your indignation.
8 You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.
9 All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan.
10 Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
11 If only we knew the power of your anger! Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
12 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
13 Relent, Lord! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children.
17 May the favor[a] of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us--
yes, establish the work of our hands.
Lent begins with Ash Wednesday .
We begin with dust. We begin with desert.
What symbols or images might you add to your space to symbolize dust and desert?
“Remember you are dust and to dust you will return.”
At Lent’s threshold, there is dust.
It might seem a sombre thought in the wake of the horrific violence in Ukraine. And yet, there is also something very comforting in the assurance that we return to that from which we were created. Something in that reminds us that even in the wake of war and conflict, we are still part of God’s creation.
Often on Ash Wednesday people mark their foreheads with the sign of the cross using ashes from palm branches. For some it is a symbol of penance, but I like to think of it as a symbol of renewal and hope as we begin our Lenten journey. Out of the ashes new life can begin.
It is unlikely that you have ashes at home, but I invite you to take some oil and mark the sign of the cross on your own forehead, making a promise that you will intentionally journey in faith this Lent.
I also invite you to follow this Lenten calendar for a short spiritual practice each day
Each Wednesday we send out an inspirational message.