1 Samuel 15:10-21; Ephesians 4:25-32; Psalm 23
Psalm 23 (Message Translation)
1-3 God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.
4 Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure.
5 You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing.
6 Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.
Finding Time to Catch your Breath The world whirrs around us. We are surrounded by and inundated with world news, local news, the various election predictions, advertisements and statistics, updates on the decaying state of our environment, etc. Inside this busy atmosphere, we have our own lives teeming with our own stresses that can include work, family matters, social obligation, finances, health. All of these things both personal and communal can become so loud. We can lose focus, or even begin to wonder what our focus is. We just keep going, keep moving, keep running– just try to keep up.
But when do we breathe?
Lent gives us a space to be. A time in the year that is here waiting for you when you find yourself panting for air. A time to refocus. In this busy life, God is walking alongside us. Our shepherd gives us quiet pools in which we can refresh. To stop in this meadow and think. To see where the shepherd has led us, and how she is active in our journey. God is not passive, but sometimes we forget to look for God’s presence and God’s direction. It is hard to really observe the path when we run so quickly through it. Here, God gives us time to catch our breath.
As we are each one within the flock, the community in Lent serves as that friend that reminds you to eat and stay hydrated. God leads us to the quiet pool and the community gathers together to remind you to take a moment to reflect in it. Lent offers us a beautiful time to take a collective breath and find our center. When we are surrounded by the noise and chaos of our lives, the role of community is to provide the stillness and the silence. Together, we can remember to breathe.
Together, we look for stillness in this season where spring, cherry blossoms, and resurrection are promised around the corner.
Oh God, my Shepherd, please help me take the time needed to breathe. When I am caught up in the business of life, guide me to see the stillness. Thank you for accompanying me along the way, even when I may not see you there. Amen.