Holy Addition

The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on February 13, and one of my favorite Lenten reflections is the one from the movie Chocolat, where a town struggles between the tradition of giving up sweets for Lent and the temptations of the Chocolaterie that opened in town. The struggle forces them to explore what it means to be a community of God and what is the true purpose of the Lenten fast.  As the young pastor discovers when he questions how to prepare to once again embrace the beauty of Resurrection, that perhaps Lent means we look at what and who we embrace not what and who we exclude from our lives.  In a similar spirit I discovered a suggestion that for Lent invited me to explore what I need to add to my life rather than what I give up.  So the question I would like to ask is, what do we add to our lives that enhances our spiritual or physical wellbeing?   What do we add that demonstrates our faithful care for others? What do we add that embraces the community of God within and around us?   And as we add something to our life perhaps this leads us to let go of something that is weighing us down and keeping us from embracing the holy addition.  Like the folks in the movie Chocolat I never really understood how a communal giving up chocolate or sweets enhanced the life of the community or my own.  This year whatever way you decided you need to do for the Lenten season, even if it is give up chocolate, I invite you to do so with the focus on how it adds to your life as you prepare for the Easter and the resurrection.  I invite you to start early, by a couple of weeks, and take some time to reflect on what you want to add to your life and what dream God is calling you to live into.  This is I believe the ideal focus for not only each of us individually, but for our church communally as well.   So as we approach the season of Lent what is God calling us to embrace and how do we take the Lenten steps to live into that dream?

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