When Accompaniment Becomes a Calling
by Vernita Kennen
Lent 2015 is swiftly coming to an end as we move into Holy Week and the joy of the resurrection to come on Easter. My hope is that the time of reflection has been meaningful for you this year. I am never successful in "giving up" something to make me more thoughtful during Lent; I am more apt to "add" something to the mix of a busy life, something that does, in effect, help me to slow down and reflect.
Often that means that I read intentionally for a certain amount of time daily. This year, I've found myself reading books related to food and eating - it's time to select a new title for our hunger group to read together next year. I've especially appreciated Slowing Time: Seeing the Sacred Outside Your Kitchen Door by Barbara Mahany. I've also read Hunger and Happiness: Feeding the Hungry, Nourishing Our Souls by L. Shannon Jung and Eat With Joy: Redeeming God's Gift of Food by Rachel Marie Stone.
One of the Lenten devotional pieces provided by the ELCA during this time of year, also spoke to the place of food in our lives. Mary Minette, Director for Environmental Education and Advocacy reminded us of our American habit of food waste and gave suggestions for how we can improve. She wrote,
"For Lent, some people give up a favorite food as a way to reflect on scarcity and abundance, the gifts that God has given, and the sacrifice embodied in Christ's life, death and resurrection. I've done this myself because I thought it was a good way to focus on the meaning and purpose of the Lenten season (although my husband says that the year I gave up chocolate I became unbelievably cranky). Rather than giving up a food this year, my plan for Lent is to try to be more mindful of and thankful for the food that blesses and feeds me and my family. I aim to do this by finding ways to eat more sustainably and avoid waste." Find her full blog post on Living Lutheran.