A Year of Being Kind blog – Wednesday, February 26, 2014
How Do We Show Love? Provide Opportunities for Service!
A week from today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent. I thought that a helpful, loving way to be of service today is through my computer. So, today I will offer 40 Days & Ways to Be Kind (a Lenten Calendar of Service) to my friends and acquaintances through email, Twitter and my Facebook page.
The church I attend observes the Liturgical Year, the liturgical calendar of events and periods of time that encompass the turning of the year. Lent is an observance of the forty days before Holy Week. In this way, we remember the forty days Jesus spent in the desert, in preparation for the start of His public ministry.
What with the partying and feasting of Mardi Gras and Carnival, people all over the world make a splash before they dive into the Lenten time of preparation for Easter. Many devotionals and books with readings offer special observances at this special time of the year. Fasting and “giving up something for Lent” are common, too—denying oneself certain sweets or treats, or eating altogether. This Lenten Calendar of Service instead is adding something to the observance of faithful believers—like you and me.
I remember the Lutheran church of my childhood. Liturgical practices, clerical robes, stained glass windows. Of course we followed the Liturgical Year! I came to know the turning of the seasons—spring, summer, autumn, winter. This was in conjunction with the turning of the church seasons from the first Sunday of Advent through Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, and the other smaller (but no less important) festivals and days of celebration. Ringing the changes as the seasons came full circle.
There was a season of my life that I attended one nondenominational church, and then another. The year kept turning, but without the familiar liturgical color scheme. Refreshing to have a freedom from the bonds of strict structure! But as the years went on, I came to appreciate liturgy—when I encountered it on the rare occasion at other churches and services. Sure, there were Easter and Christmas celebrations in these nondenominational churches, too, but it was somehow different. Without hearkening back to the time- and tradition-honored themes and rhythms of centuries past. Now, I have returned to the liturgical tradition. I know it’s not for everyone, but I feel God working deep down inside of me when I am in that church setting. It’s right for me, right now.
Why a Lenten Calendar of Service, you may ask? Great question! I felt God’s leading to embark on a Year of Being Kind (365 Days of Service) at the end of December. These daily acts of service have been restorative to my soul. So beneficial that I went ahead and made up a calendar of daily opportunities for service. Thus, the 40 Days & Ways to Be Kind.
I encourage you to embark on this 40-day journey of kindness and love with me! And I pray that God will send all of us awesome experiences this Lenten season. What will God send you tomorrow?