Welcome to our Shaped by Faith Lenten Reflections! Each day in Lent we will publish a reflection written by a member of our diocese. These short meditations will focus on key themes in the mission of Shaped by Faith — Discovery, Experiment, Collaboration, Creativity, Change, and Faith. We hope that these meditations will help you dive deeper into your own Lenten journeys and into the community of participants in this diocesan initiative.
This week we are focusing on change.
Wednesday, February 26, 2020. This reflection was written by The Rt. Rev. Dr. Audrey Scanlan.
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12: 1-2
I have been praying this portion of Paul’s letter to the Romans for months now- each day as I begin the day- asking for the ability to hear God’s will for my life, asking for God give direction to our diocese as the Body of Christ, and asking for the courage to follow.
To live according to God’s will is to be responsive, discerning, and willing to change. Like Peter at the Transfiguration (Mt. 17:1-9), we are eager to capture and freeze moments of glory… and to do everything that we can to stay there- even when Jesus has moved on, and is headed down the mountain to the next blessing, the next wondrous deed. We need to keep up with Jesus- to be responsive to his leading and know that change is often the vehicle that brings new life.
What in your life is a vestige of former days that is keeping you back from living into the fullness of life that God has for you? What change might uncover a new vitality for you, your family, your church?
This week in our Shaped by Faith Lenten Reflections, we are focusing on change. This reflection was written by The Rev. Grant Ambrose.
One of the most powerful arias in Handle’s Messiah is “The Trumpet Shall Sound”. The aria is preceded by the Recit: “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). At the heart of the verse we find, “we shall all be changed.”
Change – for many the word sends chills down their spines; yet, change is essential in our walk with Christ. A well-lived season of Lent will challenge us to examine our lives and see how we need to change to be closer to Christ and more Christ-like in our relationship with others. While this examination is certainly a challenge, the greater challenge is being willing to change. When Jesus healed the sick person at Beth-zatha, Jesus first asked, “Do you want to be made well?” (John 5:6). In other words, do you want to be changed? After all, ultimate change is up to us.
As we walk our Lenten pilgrimage this year, let us seriously consider not only what we need to address and change in our relationship with Jesus and our neighbors, but also really, truly consider, first and foremost, our willingness to be changed by Christ. May God give us a heart that strives for change – change that leads us closer to Christ and our neighbor.