North Highland United Methodist Church
Monday, May 17, 2021
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors


Creating Space 
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of  Lent. We know there are various traditions observed during this 40 day Lenten journey, which ultimately leads us to the cross and new life. In our busy lives observing Lent might sound overwhelming if it seems like we are only addinganother thing to our to-do lists.
But perhaps Lent is more about crossing something off, rather than adding something to our lists. We hear the word “fast” or “fasting” often in this season of the year. Fasting is abstaining from-letting go-doing without. In a way, it is like looking at our homes and seeing the need to de-clutter. What is cluttering up our inner most selves? What has piled up so high that simple beauties of living and loving are obscured?
I saw a list of things from which we might fast that is attributed to Pope Francis. Because he is the head of the denomination that is foremost in teaching this spiritual disciple of fasting, it seems worth considering:
Fast from (de-clutter your spirit of)
    -hurtful words and say kind words
    -sadness and be filled with gratitude
    -anger and be filled with patience
    -pessimism and be filled with hope
    -worries and turn to trusting God
    -complaints and contemplate simplicity
    -feeling pressure and be prayerful
    -bitterness and make room for joy
    -selfishness and be compassionate to others
    -grudges and be reconciled
    -words and be silent so you can listen
What if choose one of these, or if you are feeling motivated, choose more! How much more space might we find within for God’s Spirit to fill and move freely. A simple prayer of “Loving God, strengthen me this day to empty myself of ________so there is space for _________within me”. 
I hope and pray that each of us realizes new space within, because that is what will also move out of us, and into a hurting, cluttered world. 
Pace and blessings on your Lenten journey,
Pastor Lou

March 2017