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March 6, 2014, 8:22 PM

Blessing and Letting Go... Essential to Life

"I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”  Isaiah 43.19

We begin the season of Lent on Wednesday, March 5th.  Our faith practice for the six Sundays of Lent, in worship and Sunday School, will be Letting Go“Blessing and Letting Go.”  Blessing and letting go is essential to life. To be alive is to experience constant change; and every change – even the positive, desired changes – involve both loss and gain.  Ways of accepting, blessing, and letting go of what has been, so that we can move on to a new beginning, a new adventure, is what we will be focusing on this Lent.

 The overarching biblical story, of both the Old and New Testaments, is a story of a journey, a story of constant transition.  God called Abraham to leave his home and find a new land of promise.  In our modern mobile culture, most of us have at one time or another had to leave home, family and friends, to pursue a promising new path of education or career advancement. 

God called Moses to lead the Hebrew slaves out of bondage in Egypt.  The journey to freedom from slavery for the Hebrews required letting go of a way of life, letting go of non-essential possessions and not knowing where the next meal would come from.  In our culture, the journey to freedom from substance addiction, or from the violence of an abusive relationship likewise involves letting go of the comfort of the “known” to journey into an unknown future.

 After forty years of wandering, the Hebrews lost Moses on the eve of crossing into the promised land.  The followers of Jesus had to continue his mission and become the church without him.  All of us, at one time or another, have had to continue our journey without a mentor or loved one who left us or died.  And the end of one chapter often has meant the start of something new and completely different.

We negotiate times of transition by grieving the losses, letting go, and moving onto new adventures. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus called his disciples to let go of old understandings and embrace a way of life based on love and grace. As we grapple with the scriptures, we recognize that to live is to let go; to live fully is to bless and be blessed.

As a Lenten discipline this year, rather than giving up something that usually gives you pleasure; I invite you to give up something that is weighing you down – to let go of something that is interfering with your enjoyment of life.  Join me on a journey to our inner “attics” where we store the old baggage.  In those old steamer trunks up there are resentments and regrets that you have been carrying around for months or years.

There are limiting and judgmental stories that someone in your past – a teacher or family member – told about you. You believed them and have been living with them your whole life.  We all inherited beliefs about “the way things are” and “what is possible and what is not” and “what is acceptable and what is not” that need to be aired out and inspected for moth holes.  Maybe the trash is where they belong.  (We’ve provided you with a process you can do at home to help you in your letting go on page 11.)

Have you noticed that even our actual physical possessions can weigh us down – things we hang onto because we think we “might need it sometime.”  I am challenging my confirmation class to make an inventory of their “stuff” and give away something each week of Lent that they are no longer using and that now just clutters up their life.  I have challenged myself to let go and give away something every day of Lent.  I’m starting “Green Fair” boxes for the confirmation class and myself.  If you would like to join us, there will be a box in the Parish House for “letting go” of physical stuff that can also symbolize the other kinds of “letting go” that we will be focusing on in worship and Sunday School this month, that we might be blessed and be a blessing. 



03-27-2014 at 12:47 PM
Sari Max-Fiss
Every word here a gem. Much-needed and precious gems. Thank you!
Have you been listening in on my deepest, inner thoughts?
Blessings! Love!
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