Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Finding the Space Needed: Lent

   Construction is about more than just materials and labor. You have to know where to place things, and where to leave spaces in your work for other things to occupy. In last week's meeting, the Epworth Building Committee talked at length about the space above the new ceilings that will soon occupy our hallways. Space is important.
   My mentor, Coach John Wooden, referred frequently to space. He said you could learn a lot about basketball by watching the players without the ball. Good players move well in space - that area where no one else is located. Success in sports is moving in space to be in the right place to score.
   We probably don't consider the importance of space enough. Our lives are filled up. There us no room for space. We cram our days, our cars, our homes, our calendars. Most vacations are so filled up with stuff that people return home tired.
   We must be intentional about space. Creating space requires our attention and our diligence.
    The Season of Lent started this week on Ash Wednesday. Lent is a forty day period, excluding Sundays, during which disciples of Jesus Christ prepare themselves spiritually for the remembrance of Christ's suffering, death and resurrection.  The name is derived from the Old English, lengten, a reference to the lengthening of the days in the spring. Beginning in the second century, Christians would undergo a brief period of fasting and prayer in preparation for Good Friday and Easter. The number forty corresponds to the many key moments of space in the Bible. Such moments can bring much needed space between the demands and the 'doing' of life. This season is a time for more intense and intentional spiritual growth during which we remember the message, the life, the suffering and death of Christ.
   In the tradition of the ancient church, I am inviting Epworth people to do three things this Lent:
1.  Be in worship every weekend you are in town.
2.  Give up something as a fast and expression of your faith and identification with Jesus' suffering.
3.  Be quiet. Join the whole church in spending a few minutes each day with the sound off. Instead, listen to the leading of God through prayer and simple meditation.
   I need some more space; not to get away from people or responsibilities. I need more space to get closer to the best stuff of life. May Lent be a holy time to find the space between for all of us.
   Grace and Peace, Scott

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