Lent Surprises!

Lent Surprises

I’ve been encouraged to blog, and yes, I’ve found it challenging. Research on Boomers tells me I’m a few years too old to enjoy playing with technology, and more inclined to see it as a tool for meeting needs. The researchers got that one right for me! So, I’ve written a few posts and pondered; what needs should this blog meet? Do I write from my personal or professional perspective?

Last weekend I participated in a workshop led by a younger friend who helped me get over these blocks, so I am ready to enter this wilderness for Lent, which is all about wilderness and unanswered questions. Thanks for joining me as I share some of my thoughts on Lent.

Lent is a strange time of longing and yearning for God’s purposes to be accomplished, of waiting for clearer signs of God’s presence among us. We ask for God’s intervention, while God is already there, accompanying us, waiting for us to notice what we can do to join God’s reconciling ways.

We pray for others even though God knows what we desire and need before we ask it, and yet God delights in our praying. Ironic, isn’t it?/ But God is glad that we are sharing a small portion of his great love for all creation.

I gleaned this wisdom from the story of Lior, a Jewish boy with Down’s Syndrome, who loved davenning (a Hebrew word for praying) more than anything else. At his Barmitzvah, Lior said, “God delights in our praying and I delight in delighting God.”

Amen! Experience him for yourself on the DVD, “Praying with Lior,” available for loan from www.mennonitechurch.ca/resources.

Lent is laced with many surprises. A time of strange contrasts, it mixes excitement and fear, loyalty and betrayal, life and death. It is a wilderness time, and the wilderness is full of challenges and surprises. In my book, Please Pass the Faith, I wrote “When the young people we love face such [challenging] matters, we can name their struggles in our hearts or share them verbally as Lent or wilderness experiences… We find spiritual guidance by naming our struggles and identifying them with those of Jesus. It may even help us let go, to wait and trust God to work in the lives of our loved ones in the more challenging periods of their lives.” (p.114)

Little did I know how this year’s Lent would put me face to face with the opportunity to take my own words and advice to heart.

May my Lent and yours be a time to experience our challenges and wilderness experiences as opportunities to focus on living with and learning from Jesus in all kinds of surprising ways, maybe even here on my homespun blog.

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About Elsie Hannah Ruth Rempel

As a young senior whose life could easily have ended in a nasty car crash in 2012 I live with an extra dose of gratitude to God, humanity, and the wonders of our human bodies. I am a passionate advocate for ministry WITH children and seniors in the life and ministry of the church. I started working in Faith Formation with Mennonite Church Canada in 2002. Thinking and writing about faith helps me see God at work in all kinds of surprising places. I'd like to be remembered as one who encourages others to live into God's good dream for our world. My book, Please Pass the Faith: The Spiritual Art of Grandparenting, is one big way I'm trying to share that encouragement with my peers. This blog is another way I'd like to engage people who care about growing in faith across the generations.
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3 Responses to Lent Surprises!

  1. Arlyn says:

    Congratulations on this new blog – I will follow it with interest! May your thoughts on these pages serve as a prayer, and as a delight to God.

  2. Marlene Harder Bogard says:

    So delighted you are doing this, Elsie – I will eagerly await your faith-styled wisdom. Carry on so Faith may be passed on!

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