40 Days

Wednesdays are a crazy day in my world, especially yesterday Wednesday.

The cycle downtown from work to choir practice freaked me out yesterday. Four drivers who weren’t looking for bicycles nearly hit me. It is only a 7.5km ride, and it isn’t like I’m an obnoxious rider, yet these drivers managed to nearly hit me. Yes, I go quickly, but I obey traffic rules and try to be visible when I ride: I have multiple front and rear lights, wear a turquoise reflective jacket, have white bicycle and orange backpack. It isn’t like I blend into the road. Sadly though, this wasn’t the first time cars haven’t been paying attention to me and I’ve had near-misses before (weekly?). For a city that prides itself on having one of the highest amounts of bicycle commuters per capita in the country, there are a lot of drivers who are not paying attention to us. I guess that is what made the statement of Ash Wednesday even more poignant: Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return. We’re all just one event away from that dust.

We got some new choir music in rehearsal last evening. It was new liturgical music for the season of Lent that I’m excited to sing… altos have some wonderful parts and they are all nice and low and minor sounding. One of them, from the Iona Community, asks a simple question: O brother Jesus, where have we left you, Saviour and Lover of all? Where indeed? That line reached out and grabbed me as we sang it.

Lent is probably my favourite season of the church calendar. I like the expectation and anticipation of Advent but often find myself frustrated by the gross commercialism and crazy busy-ness of Christmas that envelops and overwhelms it. Lent on the other hand, often gets overlooked. Aside from pancakes on Shrove Tuesday and the constant question, “What are you giving up for Lent?”, the beginning of this season often goes unnoticed.

Which brings me back to our Lenten liturgical music: O brother Jesus, where have we left you? Am I giving something up for Lent? I am not sure yet. I’ll allow myself until the weekend to decide. On the other hand, I would much rather that I find Jesus during Lent. Find Jesus. Find God’s heart for the lost and poor and marginalized.

In closing, another song for this Sunday (also Iona Community):

Sent by the Lord am I; my hands are ready now to make the earth the place in which the kingdom comes. The angels cannot change a world of hurt and pain into a world of love, of justice and of peace. The task is mine to do, to set it really free. Oh, help me to obey; help me to do your will.

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