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Sunday, September 19, 2021

This season … this fast

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We have come through the season of Lent, a time of reflection and preparation, reminding us of the 40 days that Christ spent in the wilderness. During this season, some of us may have chosen to fast. It was a season of voluntarily giving up something that was a part of our regular rhythm. It was a season where for a temporary, preset period of time, life was different.

40 days.
960 hours.
15,600 minutes.

It seems like this entire last year has been preparation for Lent. A year ago, we entered a season of multiple pandemics. Social distancing and quarantine, alternating between virtual and in-person classes, shutdowns, pandemics of systemic racism and presidential elections. We have been in the midst of an extended season where we have involuntarily given up things that are a part of our regular rhythm. It is a season that has lasted more than 40 days.

40 days.
960 hours.
15,600 minutes.

This holy season is different for me.

In the past, this has been the season where I have focused on what to release, and then I pick it back up when the Lenten season ends. It has been the season where I embraced practices then put them aside when the Lenten season ends.

But this season was different. I chose to let go of things that I don’t want to pick up again when the season ends. This season I want to embrace practices that I plan on continuing to practice.

This season the fast that I want to take will last beyond the Lent season and remain.
This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once.
“Your righteousness will pave your way. The God of glory will secure your passage. Then when you pray, God will answer. You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am,’” Isaiah 58:6-9.

This season we will journey through the crucifixion of Christ on Good Friday, reflect on Holy Saturday and celebrate the resurrection of Christ on Sunday. In spite of all the changes and things we have had to do, the gift is that Christ and the Resurrection will always come through. This part of the season will always be true — Christ and the Resurrection will always come through. We may weep on Good Friday and reflect on Holy Saturday, too. But the gift is that Christ and the Resurrection always come through.

Always!

Blessed to be a blessing to you,
Rev. Sheila P. Spencer

Rev. Sheila P. Spencer is an author, poet, teacher and preacher. You can contact her at CustomMadeInspiration@gmail.com and her website is www.sheilapspencer.com.

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