Meditation for Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Readings: Joel  Chapter 2 verses 12-18 / Psalm 51: verses 1-4, 10-12, 15 /   2 Corinthians Chapter 5 verses 20- Chapter 6 verse 2 / Matthew 6 verses 1-6 & 16-18

Inclusive Lectionary Text

My dear friends I am reminded for this season of Lent that our spirit is strengthen by our witness.  I remember when my wife and I sold our home some time ago and the movers we used were African Muslims. They were very good and so professional that we continue to recommend them today to other people. During the move, two out of the seven men took a small break, laying out a piece of cardboard getting on there knees and began to pray facing east.

I guess the normal reaction from anyone else might of been that, I am paying you to move, not pray. However, my wife and I were shocked with admiration and respect. The leader proceeded to ask us if it was okay for the workers to do that. For us, of course it was. We even invited the others workers to follow suite if they so desired. They did not, but my wife and I did standing some distance away behind the workers praying.

What impressed us was their freedom and willingness to do it. That they did not feel embarrassed or prohibited in doing such an act of living in the presence of now. To come and offer simple prayers to the One who created us. I think of the recent times we have all experienced with this last election. No matter who we wanted or voted for, I am simply reminded that I don’t need to become an angry (your political affiliation) Democrat, Republican or Independent.  I don’t need to defend our candidate or elected official. We all have voted for whoever we thought was the best regardless of not agreeing with some of the platforms they may stand on. Even in my secular employment we were all civilized and spoke on issues sharing our opinions peacefully.

I am not suggesting to simply let things go but definitely, when we feel that an injustice is looming or being performed to speak out in a way that cries out for us to be humane with each other. After all we are all sisters and brothers on the journey together. As well as the usual Lenten  sacrifices, I recommend that we continually look into ourselves to enter into the desert of our lives and find that way to look past our differences and work together in love  centering on God not our ego. As the Benedictine Monks of Weston Priory sing in one of their songs, “Let us set out on a pilgrimage of the heart, wandering in the wilderness, learning how to dance.”  Happy Lent!

2007 The Benedictine Foundation of the State of Vermont, Inc.
Song (Pilgrimage of the Heart)

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