A Little Inspiration

posted Feb 11, 2016, 2:01 PM by Parish Administrator   [ updated Feb 24, 2016, 9:28 AM ]

Jan Richardson, writer and artist
"Thereby, the whole congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith." ("Ash Wednesday Invitation" from A Book of Common Prayer, page  
This prayer from the Lenten Invitation is one of my favorite parts of The Book of Common Prayer.  No matter how many times I read it, it always reminds me that all of us who would journey with Jesus are in constant need of renewal.  We need to be reminded how important prayer is; to be encouraged to pick up our Bible; to be admonished to let go of something harmful or hurtful that we keep clinging to.

We continually need reminding that to have a relationship with God, we must place that relationship at the center of our lives.  And each time the season of Lent rolls around, we are invited to do just that. 

We cannot always predict where our inspiration will come from.  Sometimes we find it where we expect to; sometimes it sneaks up on us.  Today my inspiration came from a Jan Richardson poem that showed up unexpectedly: "Rend Your Heart: A Blessing for Ash Wednesday."

To receive this blessing,
all you have to do
is let your heart break.
Let it crack open.
Let it fall apart
so that you can see
its secret chambers,
the hidden spaces
where you have hesitated
to go.
Your entire life
is here, inscribed whole
upon your heart's walls:
every path taken
or left behind,
every face you turned toward
or turned away,
every word spoken in love
or in rage,
every line of your life
you would prefer to leave
in shadow,
every story that shimmers
with treasures known
and those you have yet
to find.
It could take you days
to wander these rooms.
Forty, at least.
And so let this be
a season for wandering
for trusting the breaking
for tracing the tear
that will return you
to the One who waits
who watches
who works within
the rending
to make your heart