Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Purple for Lent

purple jacaranda
While we are experiencing new weather seasons here we are learning to be more aware of other seasons in our lives. I bought this Christian Seasons Calendar from the Regent bookstore when we arrived and added all the Jewish festivals to it as I couldn't find one that combined both. Tomorrow is the beginning of Lent, the 40 day count-down to Easter (and the Passover celebration). Josh and I are both hoping to give some things up. I'd also like to find some tangible actions to take,verse 6 below offers some ideas (commands even?) This 14 year old boy made a beautiful candle holder for lent countdown. I'm wondering if I can whip one up or buy one for next year? I've enjoyed establishing some new traditions with Josh in our two-person-strong family. I think these are the kinds of celebrations which children would really benefit from too. My little (but probably more responsible and mature and absolutely gorgeous) sister is expecting her first little one. First granchild on the Cain side!
purple pretty
purple vine
purple old building
purple flowers
purple leaf
purple Ay Ka Dot
purple poppy seeds
purple josh and myer sign
purple paul
purple lachie
purple easter
I read this verse this morning as one of the readings for Ash Wednesday. I know it looks a little long but it is all so good (and hard) and so challenging. The emphasis is all mine. I can see why light and the idea of abstaining is significant for this season...

Isaiah 58

1 “Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.
2 For day after day they seek me out;
they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
and seem eager for God to come near them.
3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?’
Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.

4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD?

6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.

11 The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

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