Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Lent

Lent is a season that I knew little about until about 10 years ago. Advent, preparation for Christmas, yes,
Our Advent "wreath" has a figure on a donkey 
that circles through a labyrinth of candles until it reaches the center.
We're not brave enough for real candles 
here at the King household.

but Lent, preparation for Easter, no.
And for Lent, our "wreath" gets a few extensions giving us 40 days
to move Jesus carrying His cross to the center
where we have a rock with the empty tomb drawn on it,
a carry-over from Easter celebrations a few years ago.

So I've set out to learn all I can from a number of faith traditions.

A few years ago I read A Place at the Table: 40 Days of Solidarity with the Poor by Chris Seay during the Lenten season. This opened up another quest to learn more about fasting. So for 2016 I find myself craving a season of preparation and fasting yet I am also entering it with fear. and a heaviness. Fasting doesn't come easy. That's the point. Like I tell my children (in an attempt to remind myself), if I'm fasting from something that's easy, then I'm not really fasting for the right purpose. Breaking the chains that distract and weigh us down is never straight-forward and sudden but it's time.

Lent

A chance to
Stop
Breathe
Rest
Ask whose we are
And why we are here

A time to
Humble ourselves
Take less and share more
Make room at the table
And be transformed into Christ-likeness

A season to
Surrender our hearts and lives
Remember the miracles and grace of God
Follow Jesus on His journey to the cross

And discover for what we might be willing to die

I like how Seay puts it:
"Holy Week and Easter are so important to our faith journey that if we encounter them without taking the time to prepare, we risk not grasping the fullness of god's love and grace. our hearts, minds, and yes, even our bodies need a time of preparation to lead us joyously to the feast, reluctantly to Gethsemane, solemnly to the cross, and jubilantly to the empty tomb."

So today, our family will together begin a 40 day journey of Lent, focusing on being transformed into Christ-likeness and solidarity with the vulnerable. We are using our Advent-turned-Lent visual reminder of the days ahead and the event we will celebrate at the end.  The plan is to take turns presenting the information in the daily readings and I look forward to the individual perspectives we will bring to this topic.

"The world will not be changed when we ascend to power. God's kingdom will not be furthered because an evangelical Christian resides in the White House or the highest court in the land. God changes the world through humility and service. It is a subversive tactic, yet highly effective... The primary reason why we struggle so deeply to be transformed into the character of Christ is likely because so often instead of living with humility and vulnerability, we are busy chasing power and prestige." (Seay)

As Shane Claiborne has been known to say (in multiple ways): We can better win the world with fascination than by force.
The kitchen chalkboard art reflects my first attempt at encapsulating Lent.
It got longer after that.

Here's to 40 days of becoming more fascinating...

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