Meditation on Preparation
Katherine Williams, COGS Retreat Team
March 15, 2021
I recently heard in a children’s sermon an interesting take on the story of Jesus cleansing the Temple. The sermon dealt with how we clear out the “snot” from our sinuses when we have a cold or the crazy allergies many are experiencing now with the wind, pollen and dust in the air! And she compared this to Jesus’ action of kicking out all those doing business in the Temple that were a distraction from relationship and worship with God. He cleared the Temple of the old patterns and then declared the coming of something new.
As I meditated on this perspective that we must clear out the old, outdated, messy and dead in our lives, I looked out at our garden and saw all the dead annuals in their pots, the leaves and twigs blown by the wind into the yard. Brent and I have been working a little each day to clean up those old remains from last year’s flowers and plants. We have cleaned out the pots and pulled the old vegetable plants and begun to prepare the beds for the coming season, making room for new life to grow from the soil.
Is that not the same intention for the Lenten season? A vital part of these weeks of preparation? Jesus cleared the Temple of the old patterns of sacrificial animals and “taking care of the business of worship”. Patterns that focused on manipulating/appeasing God to do what we want. He instead insisted on making room for a new awareness that the Divine is in our midst through what we as Christians call the The Christ.
Clearing away the old, dead stuff so that new life may grow, flourish and nourish us is true for the garden, isn’t it true in the life of our faith and community as well? What is outdated in my thoughts, my habits, the stories I tell myself about my life? What do I need to let go of?….too many hours on social media?….too much time worrying about what might happen and how I can “manage” it?...and most likely there is much more.
What are the old, dead, outdated and worn out thoughts, feelings and habits that you need to release in order to ope your soul to what Spirit has that is new for you? Where is new life wanting to come into your heart? Can we all touch on the joy of anticipation of that?
Holy One, give us the grace of the discipline of letting go in order to prepare our hearts for the new shoots of life and holy mystery that you have prepared for us.