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Word from the Deacon

Sharpening our Diaconal Lens:


It’s already Lent! Croci are coming up through the soil, the daffodils planted outside the office windows at Bethany are already six inches high! At times this winter, it didn’t seem like we would ever see the balmy days of spring again, yet signs of spring are everywhere around us.

Have you noticed how much faster time is traveling this year? My internship with you is half over, my final year at Seattle University is two-thirds over, and I am registered for my final four classes as you read this article. Easter is a bare six weeks away, my final essays for the candidacy committee are due in seven weeks and I graduate in fifteen. There is hardly time to breathe in all of this; it’s easy for me to become so frazzled that I can’t keep a coherent thought in my head.

It’s Lent, adding another event into an already crowded schedule. Surely it would be okay to forego this season this year. Why do we continue to do this thing? What difference does it make? That’s the Diaconal question I keep running into. If it makes no difference, why continue observing this solemn season year after year?

We do this because it does make a difference. The world tells us that we don’t have time, but each year God invites us to set our schedules aside and enter into God’s time, to listen to God’s word for our time. This year Bethany is listening to the Word of God as brought to us from our brothers and sisters around the world. We will take this time to learn something about their lives, receive their prayer requests, eat foods from their tables, hear words from them in worship, and lift them in prayer. Our world will be expanded; our experience of the Body of Christ will be also.

The world tells us we have to keep busy, our crowded schedules narrow our view, we can’t see beyond the next appointment, the next assignment, the next quarter; we can’t breathe. The discipline of Lent invites us to breather in the Spirit, to see from God’s viewpoint. We are invited to sit in one another’s presence, to eat together, to pray together, to be in communion with the world. We are invited to experience a foretaste of the feast to come, a feast intended for the healing of the world. Thanks be to God.