As the people of God, we are faced with a daily choice as to how we would like make God's claim on our life apparent. Oftentimes, I fail. I am impatient and bitter, steady in my self-reliance to get things done. I can do it, just let me alone. My fiercely independent industriousness doesn't have much space for a God that enters into my chaos and the chaos of the world. I'm too busy cleaning it up to notice or even care.
Lent is a time a time of permission to visit the depths of these weaknesses within us:
all of our personal failings, all of our corporate failings. Lenten practices remind me to empty myself of myself so that I might notice the work that God has done in this world and is doing in this world. My habits, my posture of self-reliance, my attitude of solitary
initiative are called into question when I admit the limitations of my body, that I cannot clean up
my chaos and I cannot clean up others' either.
Lenten practices asks the people of God to embody their weaknesses, their failure, their hunger. In fasting, there is a hunger not only for food and its comfort, but
there is a hunger for God and a desire that others might not be hungry. Lenten practices force us to revisit the Incarnation because they ask us to meditate on Jesus' body, the suffering that Jesus endured, and the love that he offered so freely. Our bodies and spirits, like Jesus', are meant for the good of creation and all that is in it.
Lenten practices are not behavior modification, they are incarnate reminders that our chaos has been interrupted. They are opportunities for the church to interrupt the chaos of the world, our communities, our lives. It begs the question, how are you interrupting chaos?
This post was written as a part of the Creative Collective on the topic "Hunger." Read my fellow creatives' work here.