Seven days down, 33 more to go . . .
I know, that sort of sucks as a Lenten attitude. And Jesus said when you fast, don’t go around all mopey advertising that you are fasting. So I’m working on it. But it’s hard.
It’s not food from which I’m fasting. It’s sleep. I’m getting up early (for me) during Lent because a couple of years ago I had the idea to have Morning Prayer at the church each day of Lent at 7:00. It was a moment of temporary insanity when I forgot that I am a night person. Maybe it was the Holy Spirit’s idea, demonstrating again that God has a sense of humor. I am more likely to see the sunrise because I’ve stayed up to it, not gotten up for it.
And the time change is killing me.
It’s not really that I’m getting up a lot earlier. It’s that I’m having to deal with people – admittedly people I like – before I’m ready. You see, besides being a night person I’m an introvert, which doesn’t mean that I don’t like people (mostly) but that I am energized by alone time. First thing in the morning I can benefit from some solitude to charge up for the rest of the day where I am called to be Pastor Dave: Functional Extrovert.
You might be thinking I could get up even earlier so I’d have some time before I have to get ready and get to Morning Prayer.
That’s not going to happen. While I was in Israel I got up before dawn to take pictures of the sunrise over the Sea of Galilee. It was a Holy Land Miracle, unlikely to be duplicated at home.
Morning Prayer has been a good discipline for me, though. For forty days, my somewhat-less-than-exemplary devotional life gets some structure. You wouldn’t think a pastor would need that kind of help. I am in the Bible constantly preparing sermons and Bible studies, and I pray with folks all the time, but as for regular time for me to pray and sit with God . . . not so much.
Plus, it’s great for the church. One of the most important things we do as a church is to pray together. It should be the foundation of everything we do. After all it is God’s church, not ours, so we need to be in consistent conversation with God. It’s not that crowds of people show up for Morning Prayer – we can all fit in my office, blessedly crowded some days – but that each day we are praying for our congregation and for those in need and for the world.
So, God willing, I’ll keep getting up and going to Morning Prayer. And I will work on my attitude, or more exactly do my best to surrender my crankiness to the Holy Spirit.
I get to do this for 33 more days! (How’s that for a start?)
If you’re in the area, you’re invited to join us at Christ Lutheran Church of Millersville for Morning Prayer during Lent. We meet every day but Sundays at 7am. Scripture and prayer time take about 20 minutes. On Mondays, we meet at Panera Bread near the church; Tuesday-Saturday we’re at in my office. Lent ends on Easter, April 20.
If you can’t make it and have anything you’d like us to lift up during our prayer time, let me know through the comments below or the “Contact” button above.