Meditation written by Cathy Tamsberg.
Read by Felicia Roper.
We’re not sure what the problem is, but our digital camera sucks up battery life very quickly. We keep replacing the batteries but they don’t last long. Many jobs, families, and/or ways of living are like this. We keep infusing them with a source of energy. But because something isn’t “right,” we keep getting drained. And if we don’t correct the underlying problem that keeps demanding more energy than we have (like whatever is wrong with our camera), we will keep depleting ourselves—buying more batteries, if you will, to keep us going just a bit longer.
Our Hebrew Bible text for today is found in Leviticus 23:26-41. It describes God’s instructions to Moses that the Israelites should celebrate a Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) and a Festival of Booths (Sukkot) each year. On Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, Jews traditionally observe the day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. Sukkot lasts seven days and is marked by the building of “booths” intended as a remembrance of the type of fragile dwellings in which the Israelites lived during their 40 years of travel in the desert after the exodus from slavery in Egypt. On both Yom Kippur and on the first day of Sukkot, there is to be no work.
As Christians, we don’t typically celebrate these ancient holy days. Yet we have much to learn from them. All of us could use a period of fasting or at least extended meditation and prayer. All of us could benefit from spending time considering the ways that we have been “delivered” from potential harm in the past and the ways that a Holy presence has accompanied us in life. And certainly all of us could draw meaning from a break from daily work that allows us to go deeper into our souls.
This is what Lent is. Most of us can’t miss multiple days from our daily work and other tasks. So our challenge in Lent is to carve out times for reflection and prayer in the context of the lives we actually lead. It is the most important way to find our center and the source of life-long energy. Unlike our camera, our lives can’t be re-energized by something we buy at the store—not really. If you’ve not yet found a way to create a time for reflection in your hectic daily life, it’s not too late to let this Lent be the season when you found a practice that will restore energy to your tired soul.
This meditation is from “Lent: Sowing Season, Holy Time,” a collection of daily readings by Associate Pastor Cathy Tamsberg. Each day during Lent, from Ash Wednesday, February 13, 2013, to Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013, a new excerpt read by a member of the Pullen congregation will be made available. To hear each day’s reading as it is published, subscribe to Pullen’s RSS feed, or listen to the podcast in iTunes.