Marcus C. Lambright
Giving and Receiving Care
This week marks another milestone in our journey of Lent, the season in the church beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending before Easter where we reflect on the struggles of the Lord, the fragility of our humanity, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the grace of God. The journey of Lent is one of temptation. We are tempted to give in to hopelessness. We are tempted to care only for ourselves. We are tempted to close ourselves off. We resist temptation as the Lord did in the wilderness (Luke 4.1-13).
This week also marks a grim milestone in our country.
Over 500,000 lives have been lost to this pandemic and we're not in the clear yet.
May we never forget those whom we've lost and those who remained to grieve. It is with an unwavering faith in God and a communal spirit that we support our helpers, in the many ways they come (teachers, grocers, delivery workers, healthcare professionals, government workers, sanitation workers, faith leaders, drivers, volunteers, etc). We have been actively getting people in our community signed up to receive COVID-19 vaccines as part of the governor's faith based initiative to encourage people that the vaccine is safe and effective.
Some of our helpers have been working to secure homes for those with housing insecurity.
Our congregation has been meeting with the community leaders who seek to offer a home to those who have nowhere to lay their head (Matthew 8.20). The Lord understands experiencing homelessness and prepares for us a home with God, one with many rooms (John 14.2). Until we reunite with Jesus, we continue to care for those who are with us. As a Matthew 25 congregation, we strive to help eradicate systemic poverty, among other things.
As we mentioned before, in the season of Lent we are challenged with many temptations. Some people journey through Lent by removing things from their life. Mardi gras often is a time when people binge on things they will give up the next day on Ash Wednesday. There is also the temptation to deny ourselves to the point of suffering. We must take proper care of our bodies, of our emotions, of our minds, and of our spirits.
What is one act of self care that you can do today?
Maybe self care for you is going for a walk. Maybe it's taking a few minutes out of your hectic day to pray. Maybe it's reconnecting with someone who is life-giving. Maybe it's saying no and respecting the boundaries that you've set. Perhaps it's seeking help when you don't even know what to get help for.
In Lent we are emptying ourselves and filling up on the Spirit. We offer care to others and receive care where it's needed. We can better care for others when we take proper care of ourselves; to the glory of God.