Dear Friends in Christ,
One of the names sometimes given to this coming Sunday, the fourth Sunday in Lent, is “Refreshment Sunday.” It’s seen as a lightening of the work of Lent, a pause in the forty days to find sustenance.
At this moment, what is refreshing you? Or, to ask the question in a higher-stakes way, what is sustaining you?
Our world talks a lot about self-care as if it’s bubble baths and pedicures. But truly sustaining our souls is much deeper work. It is not merely activities which give us pleasure but practices that restore our connection to God’s grace and God’s very first, most gracious gift to us—the implanted image of Christ in our souls.
Over the years, I have learned what I need when I am weary and longing for refreshment:
- I have to take time for writing and reflection. I cannot make meaning of my life without the stillness to consider all that’s happening around me.
- I need to go outside and run, or ski, or kayak, or hike, or something that reminds me of the broadness of the world and my capacity to engage it.
- I need connection—intrapersonal connection with all the parts of my own soul, and interpersonal connection with the people in my life. Corporate worship is a part of that connection.
This Sunday, I encourage you to let part of your devotion be the refreshment of your soul, however God might be calling you to do so. It is as much a part of our journey towards Easter as repentance, because it reminds us of the goodness of God towards which we turn.
Yours in Christ,