Preparations for Fasting

by Katie Harmon-McLaughlin

This day is for joy.

It is for delight.

It is for savoring.

It is for saying-

What tastes and feels good

Can also be holy.

This feast day is sacrament.

It is open table and good food.

This day is preparation

For the long days of fasting ahead.

It is for breathing deep and making ready.

It is the last bite for now…

It is the sacred willingness

To give up the things we think we love

To discover more fully the One we love.

This day is the edge of the desert place.

We enter by choice,

Led by the Spirit.

But that comes tomorrow.

This is the day for gazing at what lies ahead

With full hearts and stomachs

Grateful for this abundant life

And the journey that leads

Through emptiness

To an even deeper abundance.

RETURN: The Song of Lent


by Katie Harmon-McLaughlin

Therefore, I will now allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
From there I will give her her vineyards,
and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she shall respond as in the days of her youth,
as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.
-Hosea 2:14-15

The song of Lent is return, return, return.

When we stop wherever we are for just a moment and listen, we can hear this ancient call in our souls to drawn near to the One who is fullest life. The season of Lent is this precisely: listening to the voice that is always present, but in a way and a place that we can truly hear.

This return call will lead you into the wilderness and it is where the wilderness will lead; return to God, return to what really matters, and return to who you really are.

It is the exodus and the prodigal and the forty-day desert fast. It is the hope of union and the letting go of what is not. It is a shedding layer by layer of the false gods we cling to, temptations toward comfort, and conveniences that numb us. Lent is not about feeling bad. It is an invitation to feel again! It is about getting in touch with the source of our lives. It is about removing the anesthesia and being willing to feel what is really real about being human, about being alive, about being beloved.

This Lenten season, we invite you to journey with us through the wilderness where God can speak to your heart. What, in this wilderness place, does God most desire to say? What do you most desire to hear?

Lenten Spiritual Retreat with Presiding Evangelist David Brock. March 13-15, 2015 Click here to register!
Lenten Spiritual Retreat with Presiding Evangelist David Brock.
March 13-15, 2015
Click here to register!