Sunday, February 18, 2007

Ash Wednesday – A, B, C

Years A, B, C
Joel 2:1-2, 12-17
Isaiah 58:1-12

There is much magical thinking that goes on. If I do "this", then "that" will happen. We come up with all manner of rituals in our attempt to control life. Little by little our rituals cover over the intended change we are looking for and we settle for form instead of functional change.

A piece of good news worth celebrating is that our habits are not fate and we can once again see what it is they were attempting to accomplish.

In terms of fasting we are called to look behind a form of refraining from food and the wearing of discomfort. What was once a laudable spirit quest became formulaic and can now be released.

Unsatisfied with your life? Fasting is not a self-help process to hike yourself up by your bootstraps. Rather, look at your context. It will contain a call to return to community/G*D/love - to fast appropriately. Fasting needs to be healthy, both inhaling and exhaling. Loose a bond of injustice and find health. Undo a yoke of oppression and find health. Share bread and space and find health. Cover nakedness and restore kinship and find health. This is a corollary of, "None will be saved, until all are saved."

= = = = = = =

Where shall the word be found, where will the word
Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence
Not on the sea or on the islands, not
On the mainland, in the desert or the rain land,
For those who walk in darkness
Both in the day time and in the night time
The right time and the right place are not here
No place of grace for those who avoid the face
No time to rejoice for those who walk among noise and deny the voice
[from Ash Wednesday by T.S. Eliot]

fast for silence
fast together with walkers in darkness
fast behind veiled light

face a face of hope
face a face of now
face a face of ever

fast, now, fast
face each other
fast, face grace

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