Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Giving Up Church Services for Lent

Since Ash Wednesday, I've been to exactly one worship service at church.  My spouse joked, "You've given up church for Lent."

It's been a very strange Lent, one I couldn't have anticipated.  My mood has been appropriate to the season, this long wandering in the desert.

One reason I haven't been to church is that I spent one week-end taking a quick, unexpected trip to my best friend and former housemate who just found out that she has esophageal cancer.  I offered to fly up, just for a short time, even just for the afternoon.  She suggested I come up before her chemo started, which was March 24.  I was on my way the following Saturday.

One week-end my sister and nephew were visiting.  And this week-end, although I intended to go to contemplative service on Saturday, I was still deep into my nap when it would have been time to get ready to go.

I haven't left all spiritual practices behind.  I've prayed more this Lenten season than I ever have before.  I know so many people who need prayers.  Some days, it seems I have prayed without ceasing.  I've done some social justice actions.

I went to a concert Saturday which felt like a worship service.  We heard pieces from Mozart's Requiem Mass in D Minor along with some spirituals.  We ended with the reminder that God walks with us.  I felt cleansed when I left the concert hall, the way I sometimes do when I leave a worship service.  But I did wish we could have had a Eucharist of some kind.

That's the part of worship that's hard to duplicate, isn't it?  We can live a sacramental life, noticing the evidence of God's grace in our physical surroundings, but God does call us to live in community.

My truancy from worship will soon be corrected.  There's the Palm Sunday to Easter corridor, with all of its services, which I will attend.  I will then go to Create in Me, where I will be part of several services in one long week-end.  April will be different.

No comments: