Restoration for Lent

by Christine Sine

Sozo by Melissa Phillips

By Stefan Schmidt

Developing Images of Restoration for Lent

Lent is often seen as a time of discipline. Whether we are adding or subtracting from our habits, there is a sense that purposeful/habit forming choice, in our lives, makes a difference. How we play this out can be wide, expansive and creative. No coffee for lent is great, but the options go on ad infinitum. To give purpose and direction to my habits, I find it useful to develop a picture of where I am headed. A target if you will.

Here is an excerpt from a short essay I wrote. It is the bones of my worldview and helps target my habit forming. My target is “restoration” and my habits flow from the image of restoration I have imagined. The prompt for the essay was “create a new philosophy or religion” however, I think I have articulated nothing new. I think you will find Jesus’ image of God’s kingdom here.

“This is Sozo: the Practice of Restoration Imagine a family, with plenty to eat, free of disease, with shelter and opportunities for creativity. Imagine a community caring for one another through mutual affection, seeking humble relationship with the divine and balancing their needs with the health of the environment and of other communities. This is a picture of Sozo. Sozo is the ancient Greek word for “restoration.” It is a root theme shared by Jewish, Christian and Islamic religions. Sozo is a picture of moving towards thriving wholeness.”

From this image, my Lenten discipline gains form. I can develop concrete practice that moves towards my image of restoration.

What is your picture of restoration? Where are you headed? Where is your community headed? What habits can you practice to build capacity to head in that direction?

Thanks to Melissa Phillips for the beautiful original painting.

You may also like

Leave a Comment