February 2013 Newsletter

Losing Ourselves in Lent

BY David Gray
Feb 1 2013

Christmas Eve was a wonderful and challenging day for the Gray family.  My wife and daughters had already left for California to be with my in laws a few days before (leaving me and the boys).  My parents arrived the day before Christmas, but my mother had a medical challenge and we needed to seek care in the morning.  All turned out ok, so I had decided to cook Christmas Eve dinner and so spent the afternoon at Whole Foods (running into several church members).  I bought a roast, cut it open and put in the garlic.  I mixed up some fun sauce (not a lot of recipe following here).  Added some carrots, onions and potatoes and put it all in the oven.  Then I went to the 5:00 Christmas service.  When I got back home to family I took out the roast and, perhaps to my surprise as I’m a bit out of practice, it was delicious.  A good omen before the 10:00 service.

Like many of you, I was proud of adding my culinary fun for my family on Christmas Eve, especially with my better half in California.  But the greatest value to me was that cooking took my mind off the stress and responsibility of that day.  Christmas Eve is a busy afternoon and evening for most of us.  Yet I was able to lose myself in the cooking, so that by the time I got to worship I was totally relaxed.  I felt very much myself at both services that evening.  Just at peace with the moment.

Vespers services are my favorite worship services at Bradley Hills.  I enjoy them because I am most able to lose myself in vespers services, whether it’s Blue Christmas or evening prayer.  Maybe it’s because they are small and intimate.  Perhaps because I don’t have to preach.  But mostly because they are simple expressions of the spirit, coming in prayer, music, communion and silence.  It’s a feeling that I can lose myself in the service.

As February starts we see Lent over the horizon.  We have our two Ash Wednesday services and our weekly Wednesday evening vespers services at BHPC during Lent.  Through these or through your own traditions, lose yourself in preparation for Easter through worship and spiritual practice. Or, as Gandhi said, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others," and find a Lenten service opportunity for you.  We have several coming.

We know that our Lord suggested that whoever loses their life for his sake will find it.  Let’s try that together this Lent.

I also want to acknowledge with much gratitude the wonderful work of Mimi Miller in leading our communication ministries these past 8 years.  This is Mimi’s last BHX as she transitions to another opportunity.  Please join me in thanking Mimi for her great leadership of our newsletter and other communications ministries.

In Christ’s love,

David

 

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