Greetings beloved St. Georgians,
This weekend marks the halfway point through Lent. The church, in its wisdom, has a tradition of the fourth Sunday in Lent being set aside as a “lighter” day, a break in the seasonal liturgical austerity. It is sometimes referred to as “Laetare Sunday,” “Mothering Sunday,” or “Refreshment Sunday.” In some churches, rose-colored vestments instead of purple are used. If music has been sparse, there may be some additional singing. It’s a nod to moderation, which is one of our Anglican values. I have not been chanting the Eucharist at 11:00 in Lent, but I look forward to offering it again this Sunday.
Even in so-called “penitential” times of the year, the church generally leans more toward grace and forgiveness. In the relatively short season of Lent (6 weeks…Easter is 7), we take a break mid-way. Sundays are still feast days (not part of the 40 days). If you have been fasting or adopting extra disciplines during this time, this is a good opportunity to stop and reflect on how these practices have been for you. If you haven’t been doing anything for Lent yet, maybe it’s a good time to start something for the second half. In all things, remember that God wants our hearts, not discipline for its own sake. God knows that enduring for the long haul means taking breaks every now and then.
It’s not too late, then, to consider joining for conversations about a rule of life on Monday evenings. We are talking about how to find the rhythm of life that is the right balance of prayer, work, play, and rest. It’s not too late to find ways to give of your time and resources so that others may have a break. “Live simply so that others may simply live,” someone once said. We’re halfway, and there’s still plenty more Lent, plenty more opportunity to turn toward God and seek a renewal of heart, mind, body, and soul.
Your fellow pilgrim on the journey,