Godspace Light Newsletter – Living in Tension

by Christine Sine

“There is tension within me during Lent. On one side I feel the somberness of the season and call to repentance and sober reflection. On the other side I want to dance and sing because everything is bursting into life. Surely this is part of the foolishness of Lent and of the God who is revealed during this season.” Writing my Meditation Monday: Foolish Things For God, was not easy because of this tension. Yet living in tension between what is and what is longed for is what Lent is all about. We long for a world in which pain and suffering and death are overcome, yet we live in the reality of a world filled with injustice, violence and disease. Lent is a time not just to acknowledge the tensions, but to fill our fuel tanks so that we are better equipped to commit our lives to making a difference as we seek to bring glimpses of God’s shalom world into being.

I love what Cole Arthur Riley says in Black Liturgies, which I am currently reading. She suggests that purpose is not a straight line but a landscape. Our purpose is not just vocation but every decision we make is related to our purpose and should, mirror the divine and guide us closer to God and God’s purposes.  She comments: “how we spend our days is a matter of choice, place, privilege and how willing we are to proceed down the corridor… if you are called to anything it will sound like freedom.”  Lent is about freedom to live as God intends us to, and that will always mean we live in tension.

Some of the tension I feel is probably reflected in my post last week Contemplative Garden Books Updated. For me this is a wonderful time of year not only to plan the garden, but also to reflect on the presence of God in the garden. As you know one of the delights of my life is the revelation of God in nature and I heartily recommend contemplative practices that embrace creation to you.

Lilly Lewin’s Freerange Friday: Gifts in the Wilderness had me thinking about what I see as gifts in this Lenten season. Like her I see many gifts in this season and am drawn to the beauty of sunsets and the finding of heart shaped rocks. What are the gifts you are finding in the wilderness?

I appreciate Diane Woodrow drawing on my own reflections from last week and interpreting them for her own situation in her post Letting Go As she says: “perhaps we all need some time over this Lenten season to stop, to think about whether the things, whether many or few, are what God really wants us to be doing. And then be brave enough to have gaps in our lives where there is nothing to do!”

Rodney Marsh, writing from Western Australia took us in another direction, reflecting on what he is learning from bandicoots in his garden. We used to have bandicoots in our yard too, but I must confess I did not see them as a learning experience at that time. I love what he learned from Eric the bandicoot though: “Be still. You are in a safe place. Attend to your prayer word and be, like me. Look and live and you will make some wonderful friends – like me. But forget to attend, wander off and move, and I will be gone. Be still.”

Tomorrow we will post the second episode of Liturgical Rebels. An interview with poet Drew Jackson, whose book God Speaks Through Wombs I used for Advent last year. His poetry is part protest, part Biblical commentary and provides a fresh perspective as he weaves the Biblical narrative with contemporary issues of justice, lament and hope. I loved interviewing Drew and hope you enjoy this episode as much as I do.

Thank you for bearing with us as we work through the transitions at Godspace. I am excited about the future. Episode 3 of the Liturgical Rebels will be an interview with Scott Erickson. This week I have another interview lined up, with Kreg Yingst, an artist and illustrator with a focus on block printing, whose inspiring prayers and block prints you might be familiar with from his instagram account. www.instagram.com/psalmprayers Next week Lilly Lewin and I will chat to one of my favourite liturgical rebels, Mark Pierson from New Zealand. Mark is a Baptist minister, and worship curator who introduced both Lilly and I to the possibilities of out of the box approaches to spiritual practices and worship.

I appreciate your prayers and your patience as we work through these transitions.
Let me end with another prayer I wrote this week.

Have you ever watched
A seed burst into life
From a loamy grave,
And gasped in awe
At the miracle of resurrection?
Hope and promise in a garden.
The story of God
Written throughout the earth.
Signposts of love and light and beauty.

Many blessings on your journey through Lent
Christine Sine

The Liturgical rebels is now Live. Don’t forget to view the first episode before the second is released on Wednesday.

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