Pause and Consider Again

 

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As I walked into the softly lit sanctuary, something in the room appeared to hush the noise of the day beyond the softly falling snow outside. It brought a welcoming quiet, an invitation to pause, reflect, and consider once more.

 

It was Ash Wednesday, the traditional beginning of Lent, the 40 days prior to the celebration of Easter, the provision for our salvation.

 

As the worship music began, it too had been chosen to turn all of our hearts, minds, and spirits to ponder and examine the relationship at the center of my life. The lyrics and the melodies invited meditation.

 

It can be far too easy not to stop for this day on the calendar in many of our non-Catholic churches. It also can be too easy to get lost in traditions and lose track of its purpose.

 

Lent is a time for examining my heart. It is a time to pause in the doing of my life, even the doing for Him. Lent is a time for being with Him, a time of soberly considering the condition of my life.

 

Lent is a time to remember.

 

It is a time to consider the horror of the cross was necessary for my sin, my unrighteousness. It is a time to remember no matter how long I have known Him that I have no righteousness of my own. And it is time to mull over my human weaknesses that can still tempt me to fall prey to their seductions.

 

What does it really mean to follow Christ, to deny myself and follow Him?

 

I think it is less about denying myself some thing I enjoy and more about denying me, me and all that is not Him within me. As I enter Lent and approach Good Friday, it means identifying with a dead man even as I recognize the death He suffered was my fate were it not for Him.

 

It is more than going along with Him, following Him in that way, and more about walking like Him in the very fabric of my being and demonstrated by my attitudes, actions, and affections.

 

As the pastor shared the meditation he had prepared, he spoke of what it means to remove the leaven in our lives as well as what leaven signified. The yeast in leavened bread decays causing it to rise and symbolizes my sin.

 

Lent is a time to examine my heart for evidences of sin, to quiet myself during this season and repent so that the leaven is removed once more by the sacrifice of His death on the cross.

 

Certainly, I (and likely you) can identify specific places where sin has slipped in, but the pastor encouraged me and all of us present to look deeper and remember “PEAS Are Green and Little”.

 

He used the sentence to imprint our minds with the seven deadly sins that so easily can slip into our lives unacknowledged too often. He spoke also of the significance of listing pride first since it holds so much power in each of our lives in obvious as well as subtle ways.

 

PEAS Are Green and Little:

  • Pride
  • Envy
  • Anger
  • Slothfulness
  • Avarice
  • Gluttony
  • Lasciviousness

 

I can be tempted at first glance to dismiss the thought that I have fallen prey to any of these seven deadly sins, but that in itself exposes pride.

 

Would it be possible during this Lenten season to seek the Lord for humility to erase pride, contentment to erase envy, gentleness to erase anger, serving to replace slothfulness, giving to replace avarice, fasting to combat gluttony, and purity to knock out lasciviousness? Impossible? No, not impossible because of the cross, but also not possible without my recognition of those things that are present as well as my repentance for them.

 

As I walked forward to take the unleavened bread and the cup, I sensed the Lord affirming the need to sacrifice and deal with “PEAS (that) Are Green and Little” rather than some material thing that could dull my senses about what the real issues are that need to be put to death and sacrificed.

PEAS Are Green and Little

 

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13 thoughts on “Pause and Consider Again

  1. Hi Pam! The photo you have here just melts my heart. I want to be there!! So dark, peaceful and quiet. Ahh…
    My husband and I attended a Shroud of Turin exhibit today, and it never fails to teach me something, or inspire my faith. Such a terrible, harsh time in our history. Lent is a great time to reflect on a love that surpasses all things.
    I remember reading recently that Jesus’ death has nothing to do with our unworthiness, but everything to do with the Love He has for all of His creation. That’s something I need to reflect on as the days go by.

    God bless you on your Lenten journey. Peas are green and little…I’ve never heard that before. Something else to think about too.
    Valentine’s Day blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. Hi Ceil! The photo captured my heart as well when I found it. It is the kind of scene that never fails to draw me in and cause me to want to linger.
      That exhibit sounds very interesting. I have not attended one, but have heard some about this.
      I had not heard “PEAS Are Green and Little” until this meditation on Ash Wednesday and I doubt I will ever forget it.
      I pray you and your sweetheart have had a blessed day of love despite the cold of the last few days.
      Love and grace,
      Pam

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pam, I love your comment “I think it is less about denying myself some thing I enjoy and more about denying me, me and all that is not Him within me.” This is so good! Our instincts tend to be just to give up something we like rather than get rid of something we really shouldn’t be carrying. (Peas that are green & little!) Thanks for this analogy!

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  3. What a lovely, spiritual post! I admit, Ash Wednesday took me by surprise, which is a giant red flag for me to lessen the work routine and pay attention to God. May we all grow closer to Him as we reflect on the cross. Blessings!

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    1. Thanks for stopping to visit today, Carrie! I understand that. I think it can be easy to do. This is the first year the Lord has so impressed on me the significance of pausing to consider! How much more will I then celebrate Easter after such reflection!!!

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  4. So much touched me here–the lovely photo, the purpose of Lent, and the focus that the phrase, Peas Are Green and Little, gives. Thank-you and have a blessed weekend.

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