Lenten Tips for Living with Respect in Creation

As a member of the St Matthew’s Earth Spirit Action Group, I have been asked to provide weekly tips for lifestyle change during Lent. Traditionally, during Lent, people of faith have committed to give up something. I find this a negative way to act in response to Jesus’ gift of forgiving our sins. Since the Lenten season of March 2020, we have all given up so much. For many months we gave up congregating as church, meeting with friends, hugging children and grandchildren, and coming together as family for Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthdays, and even Summer Vacation. As Lenten of 2021 begins, let’s think about giving, of providing a positive approach to the Lenten Season, and, in particular, of promoting ways of living for a healthy Earth. 

To me, simplicity is a wonderful way to approach life. The opposite, complexity, often leads to confusion and conflict, whereas simplicity offers serenity and solace - and amazingly, sustainability. The hymn ’Tis the Gift to Be Simple (VU353), states this so well, “When true simplicity is gained … by turning, turning, we come round right”.

During the weeks of Lent, I will be offering suggestions for simple practices to help us live mindfully with love and respect in Creation. I invite you to join me in practices of GIVING ATTENTION to the healing of our planet, our home, the Earth - and to discover how that, in turn, can have the effect of bringing us closer to God.

“Tis A Gift. Lenten Tip Week One: Give Space and Time
Our current lifestyles are having a negative impact on the Earth’s ability to sustain life. We are aware of the need to change. As people who love God’s creation, are we willing to do so? If yes, then how? One answer is by simplifying our lives.

In preparation, find a quiet space in your home where you can give a few moments each day for reflection. Choose an object that reminds you of our dependence on the health of the planet.

Prayer: As we enter this season of Lent, help us find quiet times for reflection. Give us the space to grieve the devastation the Earth has suffered at our hands. Through our reflections, help us to acquire a deepened spirituality that will allow us to find the path to simpler lifestyles. Amen.