Giving Up and Taking Up

Ash Wednesday CrossAsh Wednesday, 2013

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  (Matt. 11:28-30)

Ever feel like your life is getting too crowded?  Full of noise?  Maybe it’s the endless barrage of activities we all do each week.  Maybe it’s the constant chatter we immerse ourselves in on social media.  Maybe it’s even possessions, attitudes, or memories that have too strong a grip on us… Sooner or later we find ourselves becoming what we crowd our lives with.  Stressed out, getting angry easily, and heading towards lives much different than the beautiful Kingdom life God invites us into.

Christ’s simple word to us is, “rest.”  At its best, life with God should be free, full of rest, not a weight holding us down.  No, I’m not saying just follow God and everything will be easy!  No, I’m talking about a state of being; at our core, in the middle of it all, every good or bad or stressful thing… “rest.”

Today is Ash Wednesday, and the beginning of Lent (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lent).  This is a season of reflection, where we prepare for the journey of the Cross and Easter.  Many focus on giving up something for Lent.  Once again we hear the words of Christ, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…”  It’s important not just what we give up, but what we take up.  What we give up during Lent creates space in our lives, space for the Spirit to breathe life into us.  Often this also means taking something up that will refocus us.  Maybe that ‘thing’ is silence, or time alone, or more meditation and prayer.  Or maybe that ‘thing’ is a practical act of love or service to another.

Whatever that is, I encourage you to take some time this Lent to de-crowd your life.  Give up something, so that you can take up practices that will help form you into the person God is calling you to be; a person whose core being is at “rest.”

Join the Blvd Abbey church community as we began our journey of Lent together.

Sunday night @ 6pm.

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