Every once in a while— OK, quite often— I have to remind myself that I am not the center of the universe. Yeah, yeah, I understand that I am a uniquely created child of God, but sometimes I can take this knowledge to the extreme and begin to think that life is all about me, and thus, in all things, the world should revolve around me.
Lent is one of those times where we can run the danger of reinforcing this idea: that our faith is ultimately about us and us alone, that the walk to the cross is to be taken in isolation, that blame for violence is to be laid at the feet of another, and that the resurrection is only a personal experience. Although certain aspects of Lent, and any Lenten discipline, require self-reflection and self-awareness, we must not enter that endeavor believing that it is only about our individual experiences. For we are reminded over and over and over again that the journey of life, the walk to the cross, and the experience of resurrection is a communal one— together we often turn on one another and away from God; and together we can experience forgiveness, repentance, and new life; and together we can be the best of who God intends.
So as we begin this journey, let’s think about it as a collective of individuals on a journey, each discerning God’s hopes and intentions for our personal lives while seeking freedom and justice for the larger community. Let’s make this a time where it is about me— but it is also about you, about us, and ultimately all about God.
When I live believing my life is the only life that matters
God, remind me that
the faces of others reflect Your face
the struggles of others bring Your liberation to my life
and the kindness of others speaks Your grace into my soul
–40 Days, 40 Prayers, 40 Words: Lenten Reflections for Everyday Life, affectionately known as #40WordPrayer
By Reyes Chow