The coronavirus pandemic finds us within the season of Lent. The doors have been opened for us to enter — along with the church — into the keeping of a holy Lent, with prayer, fasting, self-denial, repentance, reflection, and meditation. It is with this posture that we approach this new reality in our communities. Not with fear, and not with strength, but with a Lenten heart. A heart given to prayer.
In some mysterious way, the spread of this disease and the reality that it is brining upon our city is calling us much into the same substance of things that the church has already invited us into through Lent, on Ash Wednesday. The reality that our lives are fragile, that our lives are so closely knit together with others, is more tangible now than it was before. We are dust, and to dust we shall return.
In light of this new reality in which we find ourselves, we can be tempted to adopt an uninspired posture: We can be tempted to let fear overcome us, and we can be tempted to let entitlement deceive us. Neither of these is the way of the cross. For Christ took on our nature, lived in our world, took on the pain and the hurt that living here can create in us. He became for us the light in the darkness. He showed us how we are to live when he is incarnated through us.
And Bloom…. we still live beautiful, inspired lives in Christ. Now more than ever. We are light in dark. We take in the pain and hurt around us. We breathe out restoration and healing with our lives. Because it is no longer us, but Christ who lives in us, we are the manifestation of love in our world.
Lent invites us into a glorious simplicity. Drawn by the Spirit and the weight of this world, we find ourselves in quiet places of prayer. We find ourselves identifying with Christ in our broken heart over this world. We find ourselves given to the divine flow, being the body of Christ in new and beautiful ways.
Let prayer draw you into the unimaginable this Lent. Let it be the place where Christ is made more at home in you. Allow the Spirit to flood the whole of you, to see you as you are, and to make you new.
For the sake of this world….
Receive prayer. This can be a trying time, and the tendency to feel anxious, fearful, or angry is very normal and expected. If you would like for our prayer ministry to be praying over you specifically, please request prayer.
Pray the Examen. Find time in these days to allow the Spirit to search you and to heal you, to give you peace.
Walk through your neighborhood in a posture of prayer. Ask the Spirit to show you where Christ is moving; let yourself be drawn into the flow of restoration where you live.
Pray for others. Invite someone into a place of prayer, to see themselves as they really are in Christ, and invite the Spirit to bring healing and peace to troubled hearts.