There are certain times of the Christian year that we hold dear to our hearts. For some it is Advent or Christmastide, for others it may be Pentecost, while others may enjoy the season of Easter; for me that time is the Season of Lent, starting with Ash Wednesday and ending with Holy Week.

This is a reflective time of the Christian Year; a time where we purposefully lament and give of ourselves. (We may take up the Christian practice of fasting, not just from food, but a fast of watching television or fast from social media. Some might take on spending more time in prayer or take on meditation as a new spiritual practice. Whatever you decide to do for Lent is a personal choice, I hope you find success in what you do.)

I am a person who loves to meditate or reflect on my relationship with God. For me, Ash Wednesday is a favorite day in my life as a Christian. I appreciate the process of lamenting during our journey to the resurrection; I find that I am my best self during this time of the year.

This year in our Ash Wednesday service we had the opportunity to not only receive the ashes on our forehead, but also to participate in Holy Communion. I delight in receiving Communion each time, however, on that night I fell to my knees upon the prayer railing, I felt the Holy Spirit beside me, covering me, and warming my soul.

I had been in a spiritual battle since coming back from General Conference and on this evening, worshiping in the dim light, the heartfelt and graceful music sung, and the Holy Scriptures read, was entirely breathtaking.; just what I had been seeking.

As I prepared myself for the sign of the cross to score my forehead and as I was anticipating Holy Communion, the words to a hymn filled my mind,

                  “Take our bread, we ask you,
                  Take our hearts, we love you,
                  Take our lives, oh Father,
                  We are yours, we are yours.

                 Yours as we stand at the table you set,
                  Yours as we eat the bread our hearts can’t forget.
                  We are the signs of your life with us yet;
                  We are yours, we are yours.”

Often the best moments of my life are played in my mind with music, like a soundtrack to a movie or the live production of a musical; this was no different. My hands held out with open palms, I received the sacrament, awe inspired. I felt myself collapse at the prayer railing, heart and mind fully connected to the moment. I could hear my heart beat and the racing of my blood through my veins, my body became warm and my soul felt as ease.

In this moment, I realized that it didn’t matter what was or was not decided at the Special Session of the General Conference or what my thoughts were pertaining to the ruling and decisions made or not made. What mattered was that I was called to Ministry by God and through that calling and discernment I have followed with my heart and soul to where God has led me. I have put all my trust in Him; although it hasn’t been easy or felt holy at moments, my call hasn’t changed. There are youth who need to be shown love, acceptance, guidance, hope, trust, and knowing that God goes with them in the ebbs and flows of life.

The hymn in my mind has been stuck there for days and it continues with these lyrics,

                  “Take our bread, we ask you,
                  Take our hearts, we love you,                                                                                  Take our lives, oh Father,
                  We are yours, we are yours.

                 Your holy people stand washed in your blood,
                  Spirit-filled, yet hungry, we await your food.
                  We are poor, but we brought ourselves the best we could.
                  We are yours, we are yours.
                  Take our bread, we ask you,
                  Take our hearts, we love you,
                  Take our lives, oh Father,
                  We are yours, we are yours.”

The lyrics are powerful, demanding, and honest. I am filled with the Holy Spirit yet hungry for the future; I wait for the Lord. Poor and broken, honest and sometimes tired I have brought myself the best I could. I am His and I am continually asking for bread.

I encourage you, as we journey through Lent to open yourselves up to the Spirit-filled moments. Whether in worship, work, or over dinner with friends, may we keep our eyes on the call that God has given us, to become true, awe-inspired disciples.

Tim Boyer
Director of Student Ministries
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