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March 24, 2016
Lorna Dueck

A disturbing event occurred to me recently that thoroughly upset my approach to Easter.  The disruption to my mental state over this circumstance made me well aware how deliberate I must be to actually experience any spiritual benefit from this sacred calendar time.   So, in the spirit of getting a grip on what really matters about Easter, lets explore some reflection on three spiritual disciplines that help to correct my course away from a meaningless Easter:   

1. Fasting: The pang of hunger and discomfort catches the imagination like nothing else.   Fasting is an alarm that something needs repairing, that we are struggling with something that is not ideal.  “It will certainly prove humiliating to us, as it reveals to us how much our peace depends upon the pleasures of eating,” writes Richard J. Foster.  “It’s one of the more important ways of practicing that self-denial required of everyone who would follow Christ.” Cutting your food for a time helps you cry out; “God...I need you...I need a life source beyond food. Try it, for a meal or more, try going without food to re-engage the call on your spiritual life; praying is just better when it is accompanied by fasting. 

This is a group I travelled with to Israel. Here we are in what is believed to be the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed before going to die so as to forgive all humanity of their sin.   

2. Remembering: In the stream of texts, posts, tweets, emails and news feeds, its understandable we get sloppy on remembering the ancient traditions that have helped people know their spiritual story.   The Passover Seder is not until April 22 this year, but for all of us, this Jewish gift is a tangible experience in being connected to a God who delivers us from slavery.  Who doesn’t know what its like to be trapped …pulled away from the ideal, into something far less than what God would wish for our life.  Remembering that there is a journey to freedom takes time and stillness. Light a candle, sit by a window, be alone with an empty journal, a Bible, a reflective book by Nouwen, Rohr, Foster, Bonhoeffer …. remembering is a rich recovery.  

3. Community: Plan to go to Easter themed services, and get out and be with people who are participating in thanking God for Jesus. God did not repair the human race from on high; rather, Jesus came and lived and interacted with sinners and the earthly mess.  

From Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday, Google about for a tradition you may never have tried or attend where you normally go. Be reminded in the midst of diverse people, that Jesus came and lived like one of us, and gave His life so we could now be united with His. God to human is energia; the Greek word where we derive the word “energy” from. The exchange of the life of Jesus for our life with God – that is the life that gives us salvation.   

Happy Easter!   



Comments

without the Death and resurrection of Jesus, and belief in Him. nothing else makes sense. D C
March 28, 2016 | doreen coulter

I attended meditative Lenten services this year in the home of a pastor. Having moved into a new area, it was the result of a discovery that on my street there was the home if a pastor I had never met. Welcomed with open arms into a small group I was enriched by something new for me. Thank you God
March 26, 2016 | Alice cover

Foot washing on Maundy Thursday was a great ritual to be reminded that Jesus is a servant leader.
March 24, 2016 | Elaine Froese


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