Read: Luke 12:15
And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”
The world is too much with us; late and soon
Getting and spending we lay waste our powers
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon.
Lent is a time of repentance. The Greek word for repentance literally means “to go beyond the mind you have.” To repent is to expand your concept of who you are in Christ and then to let go of what binds you from moving towards that vision. Repentance calls us to regain our powers by revisioning our relation to the world. Instead of thinking of ourselves as consumers, we can recognize ourselves as stewards of creation or as keepers of God’s world.
We will never see much in nature that is ours because it doesn’t belong to us. It belongs to God. When we stop giving our hearts to things and instead return them to the service of God’s intentions for ourselves and our world, then we find ourselves in right relation with God’s creation.
The word “lent” means “to lengthen” because as we go from Ash Wednesday toward Easter, the days get longer. The light is a larger part of our lives and there is more for us to see and more of us to be seen. We become illumined both literally and spiritually. We prepare for resurrection by daily making more room for the Light of the World to enter us and our world.
What can you do this day to allow more light into your heart and soul?
What is one way you can move from getting and spending so that you do not give your heart away? What is one way you can connect with the physical world around you not as a consumer, but as a caretaker?
O merciful Creator, your hand is open wide to satisfy the needs of every living creature: Make us always thankful for your loving providence; and grant that we, remembering the account that we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of your good gifts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(The Book of Common Prayer, p. 259)
Porter Taylor serves as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina.