Ashes, Ashes, we all fall down

One part of my earlier post about my headspace will become clearer if you read what I shared today in our worship. Joel 2: 12-17 was our focus as we will begin together a focus on Lent to prepare for Easter. You can journey with us on this blog/website, beginning this coming Wednesday.

What you won’t see in what I shared is some sharing from Ben Gorman (and some others in open worship) about the peace sabbath our Yearly Meeting observed this past Wednesday. If you’re interested, you can listen on our website. (While you’re over there, I’d strongly recommend listening to Elizabeth Sherwood’s message from last week. Powerful stuff!

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6 thoughts on “Ashes, Ashes, we all fall down

  1. I must admit there was a bit of disconnect from reading about an Army of Locusts (preceding the selected scripture) and hearing Ace of Base in church: odd combination.

    So question: I thought Joel was talking about an *actual* plague of locusts – was it just figurative? I was having flashbacks of the great grasshopper plague when I lived in Montana – bleck.

    And dude: a Quaker church doing Lent. You’re gonna get to join the ranks of John Wimber sooner than later, my friend – my dad will be jealous. 🙂

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  2. Need a laugh? I have been grumping about having to write about *suffering* for Listening Life and it wasn’t until Sunday that I realized why. Thanks for spelling it out… Prepare for Easter. Good idea, whose was it? 🙂

    And, it’s a little soon to recommend another fast, don’t you think. I haven’t started drinking coke again since our last one so I can’t give it up again. Now what am I going to do!?

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  3. AJ, I could be flip and say that Ace of Base IS like an invasion of an army of locusts…but I won’t.

    You’ve hit on one of the key debates between commentators, and you figured out that I side with those who see the plague of locusts as a figurative reference to an actual army. Now, don’t make me commit to WHICH actual army that was…Assyrian or Babylonian or Persian…that’s a dating issue that I’m not qualified to answer.

    Kathy, I’ll resist the temptation to return the LOL from my post about Zondervan… 🙂 I know it’s soon to ask for another fast, but this is like just joining most of Christendom. And I just drank my last diet coke. Prepare for many grumpy withdrawal posts, I’m sure.

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  4. Over the last few years, I have felt nudged to give up a number of things, not for a specific length of time, but indefinitely, although I hesitate to say forever. Most of them are superficial and I don’t usually notice or miss them, except when I notice them in excess on someone else.

    But I’m wondering about how the practice of giving something up temporarily fits into the Quaker notion of plainness – of stripping away all superfluities and seeking the core of what is necessary to live more purely in the Light.

    If a practice is not contributing to following God, why would one allow it back into one’s life?

    Just wondering, as I make myself another cup of tea…

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  5. Robin, that’s a very challenging and profound thought. For me, it highlights how much I do not take Quaker plainness and simplicity seriously. And, in fact, I am finding that some of the things I’m fasting from during Lent do need to become permanent.

    I suppose it is also a critique of our American culture. When we fast, we have so many “luxuries” and “superficialities” that our fasting is easily things we can always do without. Some fasting, I suppose, ought to be of necessities, good things from which we can only fast for a time.

    And finally, I suppose there is value in setting aside a good, non-superficial thing for a time in order to re-partake in it with renewed joy and thanks to God.

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