Midweek Message

Update, March 9, 2021

Jim Hopkins

March 8, 2021

The Lent We Do Not Choose – Dale Edmondson

The disciplines of Lent are intentional. One chooses to enter, for a period, the wilderness of worldly deprivation for the refreshment and wellbeing of the soul. This we know. But I’ve come to believe there is another kind of Lenten wilderness as well. One we do not choose to enter. One that comes to us without our bidding. It may even be thrust upon us against our desire. But like the other type, we can also learn from it and can be shaped by it. If it’s not a discipline we enter, what is it, and where do we experience it?

H.A. Williams of Cambridge University helps us. He says, “Most people’s wilderness is inside them, not outside. . . Our wilderness then is an inner isolation. It’s an absence of contact. It’s a sense of being alone —boringly alone or saddeningly alone or terrifyingly alone.”

Doesn’t that, especially now, describe the condition many of us find? Don’t we, at times, have a sense of isolation from people we truly desire to know, an isolation from our work that’s become dull and uninviting, or even from things that used to please and excite us—perhaps poetry, reading, or conversation about matters of concern?

Might we, even in this wilderness, experience a temptation too? A temptation to despair, to cynicism, even to an attitude of “what’s the use?” Williams describes a wilderness like that. But he urges, as I think the Gospel does, that we accept, and not deny, this wilderness when it comes, believing that the angels (however we describe them) might minister to us. And we’ll feel alive and in contact. And might it be that what we learn from our intentional Lent will minister to us in the Lent that just comes to us?

There have been ministrations of the Divine presence for those who chose to enter the Lenten discipline. These ministrations surround us too, wherever we may be. Just as the psalmist asks, “Where can I go from your spirit? / Or where can I flee from your presence?,” we may join him saying, “Search me, O God, and know my heart;/ test me and know my thoughts.”

Tonight on LABC Zoom – No Soup, But Study, 6:00, LABC Reopening Task Force, 7:05

Looking Ahead

LABC Forum

Ruth Bader Ginsberg

March 21, 2021, 2:00 p.m.

In preparation for LABC’s Women’s History Month forum on March 21, 2021, where we will honor and discuss the life  and work Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, please read the following: 

Who was Ruth Bader Ginsburg? By Patricia Brennan Demuth ($5.68)

This book is part of a well-known best-selling series for kids entitled Who is _______?  Please note I am in no way seeking to insult the intelligence of the LABC adult community by recommending this book but find it to be a well written accurate account of RBG’s life and work and know it will be a quick read while being very informative.  Also, I would encourage us all to pass our copy of the book along to a young person once we are done with it – so as to inspire our youth to think big about their own futures.

For those that might wish to go deeper into the topic I recommend RBG’s own book entitled My Own Words, published in 2018 ($9.18).

Both books are quite affordable.

I look forward to the conversation!

LeAnn Snow Flesher, PhD