Somehow the snow from the first week of this month is still having little impacts here and there. One of those impacts over the past few weeks has been that our church, Sanctuary, has not been able to park all of its community during its two services. Therefore, they created a third service, which began at 1pm. I say began in the past tense because that lovely 1pm service is no more after today. I enjoyed for my last Sunday the luxury of not having to get ready to go anywhere until noon.
Today, Pastor Ed began preparing the little crowd that came out to the 1pm service for coming into the Lent Season. Though we are evangelical (whatever that means these days), Sanctuary does participate in a lot of "traditional" practices, such as taking the Sacrament every week, saying the "Our Father" together as a community, and singing our "doxology" at the close of every service. Along with those few actions, we also celebrate Lent as a community. It was around this time last year that Tony and I decided to call Sanctuary our home church. Ash Wednesday was a very memorable moment for both of us, having never had ashes placed on our foreheads before. As we sipped our complimentary coffees during service, and listed to Pastor Ed, we enjoyed the last of a series that he's been giving on the concept of Love and Relationships. Today the conversation culminated into a talk of "fasting" or giving things up for Lent in order to "date" God. Though I've heard these kinds of things throughout my life about loving the Lord, sacrificing in order to get "closer" to him, and thinking of him as a "lover," I just felt myself being pressed to take this season seriously.
After service, we went down Lewis to Mimi's Cafe. We enjoyed a small sampler appetizer and bread, so that by the time our meals arrived, I was already full. I have a big plastic to-go container full of fries, breads, and two different kinds of burgers (Tony's and mine) sitting in the fridge. When the food came to our table, we prayed that God would show us what we specifically should give up for Lent. Minutes later, Tony told me that the Lord wanted me to give up the breaded zucchini spears because he wanted them all for himself :)
We then went to Borders on 81st & Yale because they're having a Store Closing Sale. I bought two new cookbooks, which I hope will give more spice to my food blog. I also purchased a small copy of short stories by Dostoevsky. Tony and I have been reading (I've been re-reading) The Brothers Karamazov out loud, which is quite a tedious thing to do with all those Russian names. Now I am back in my apartment about to finish grading Vocabulary Tests and Essays regarding our last read, Romeo and Juliet (If only I had a dollar for every time a student asked if we could have a "field trip" to go see Gnomeo and Juliet).
I leave you, whoever you are that has taken the time to read this, with chorus lyrics from a song I wrote years ago:
"I'm making more room,
So you can come and live in the home of my heart
Unclenching my fist,
So you can come be held in these arms of mine"
I hope you'll begin to celebrate Lent in your own way, and make room for God.