Lent can be a time for self-denial, the harnessing of our appetites, and a time for taking on additional spiritual disciplines like alms giving and service to others. The point is not which technique we use; the point is following Jesus through forty days of preparation to take up our cross, in order not to lose our lives but to live them even more fully.
A guest at our annual meeting on Sunday spoke to me afterwards about what he experienced as the palpable goodwill and mutual respect in evidence, even as folks shared different perspectives on the proposal put forth by Council. Our guest noticed that although strong feelings were evident, members of this community seem to care for and about each other at least as much as we want to win an argument or get our way.
The Twelve Days of Christmas culminate on January 6 – Epiphany. Derived from the Greek word epipmaneia which means “manifestation” or “appearance,” Epiphany celebrates the arrival of the Wise Men or Magi, having been guided by a star, at the home of the Child and their presentation of gifts to him.