GIVING UP TOO MUCH FOR LENT by Rector Chris Girata
GIVING UP TOO MUCH FOR LENT was published in the Katy Trail Weekly, "The Good Word" Column, April 10, 2020
Chris Girata is the Rector of Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Dallas, TX.
As we prepare to celebrate Easter, many of us will be away from church for the first time in a long time (maybe ever!). This can be depressing for some, a relief to others and confusing for most. Pictures of our silent city stun me. But more than that, seeing how our lives have changed so significantly is the real stunner.
... I wonder if we can all approach the idea of resurrection with fresh eyes.
As a preacher, I can wax theologically about resurrection for quite some time, but I’ll spare you. Instead, I wonder if we can all approach the idea of resurrection with fresh eyes. Resurrection is about renewal, a rebirth, a restart and we (you!) can be renewed now. As I watch amazing healthcare workers, brave men and women in essential businesses and many people trying their best to reduce the rate of infection, I am grateful.
Speaking of gratitude, I have been recently heartened to see lots of talk of gratitude circulating online. It seems as though this period of uncertainty and upheaval has inspired many of our neighbors to be more aware of what we have, what we need and what we don’t need. This reordering can, at its best, help us deepen our sense of gratitude. A deep rootedness in gratitude can reshape us over time and inspire us to live differently.
I am exploring what it means to grow from gratitude toward generosity. When we are truly grateful, when we know what matters most, we can’t help but share that perspective with others. When we put first things first, such as family, friends and community, we are united behind a common purpose. Perhaps now, more than before, that language can take on new meaning.
A deep rootedness in gratitude can reshape us over time and inspire us to live differently.
Rather than believing that we are owed a certain amount of comfort in this life, what if we began to see that we are, deep down, all equal. We are equally flawed, equally vulnerable and equally linked to one another in ways we may not have been aware of just weeks ago.
As we all settle into a “new normal” as gracefully as possible, I hope that you have found new ways to connect to with one another. Although we have assumed new ways of staying connected, we are still physically separated. That physical separation hurts. Feelings of loneliness and isolation can cut deeply. Helping remind one another that we are not alone is perhaps the greatest good we now share.
When this is all over and we are physically together again, I hope life doesn’t return to the old normal. I hope life becomes a new normal where we, out of our experience and our vulnerability, are born into a new strength. I hope that our lives have been changed for good, and I hope that these changes inspire a new way of living, where courage becomes our currency, faith our compass and love reminds us that life never dies.
"The Good Word" Column is published bi-weekly, and can be picked up at the Saint Michael South Entrance.
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