Friday, February 20, 2015

Paint Party Friday: Choose Life!

Another work in progress for
Art in the Park!

 "Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live..." Deuteronomy 30:19
Not many of us realize it, but the minute we are born into this world, we enter into a battle. That's why we are to choose- choose life, or choose death.
Last Monday night, my 98-year old auntie died. Yesterday she was cremated and her ashes placed into an urn. My sister carried the urn in the car as we brought the urn home, while we awaited interment. It was so fitting that we had ashes with us on Ash Wednesday. From dust to dust...that is what we read in the Funeral Service in the Book of Common Prayer. Dust and ashes. That is ALL we will amount to in the end, if we do not choose to live a life poured out in obedience to God, in loving service to others.

 Lent is a special season. "Lent" comes from the Old English word for spring, and spring is a time of renewal. A time when we can choose to go back to God. To look at the way we live our life and the choices we've made. In this spiritual battle we are in, let us look to the One who won the victory for us. How He remained faithful to the Father. How He took time to go to desert places to pray. How He served and gave His life for us. Choose life! Fullness of life!

 "This is the fasting I wish: releasing those bound unjustly...setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke, sharing your bread with the hungry..." Isaiah 58:6-7
Today, the Code of Canon Law of the Catholic Church has made it so easy to observe fasting and abstinence. One priest called it Lent for sissies!!! There are only 2 obligatory days for fasting for 18 years old and older- Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. We need only to abstain from meat on all Fridays of Lent and Ash Wednesday for 14 years old and older unless we substitute some other form of penance for abstinence.

Before, fasting was obligatory for all days of Lent, which meant that only one meal was allowed for the 40 days, except for Sundays. For that meal, one had to eat only vegetables. Even milk and cheese were not allowed on the menu! Which is why, Easter was celebrated with the giving of Easter eggs!!

Today, many decide to abstain from all sorts of things. Candy, Facebook, TV, Starbucks, etc. Perhaps more importantly, what we save from fasting from meals or buying things we don't need, we should save to "share our bread with the hungry." And the additional time we gain from abstaining from watching soap operas on TV, we can use for praying or reading good Christian authors.
But how about "releasing those bound unjustly, breaking every yoke"? If we cannot go to the prison to share the good news with the inmates and break bread with them, perhaps we can think of someone we need to forgive? Or perhaps we can help restore a broken relationship?
Lord, help me to fast in the way you wish! Who do you want me to free? Is it myself or someone else?

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  1. Stunning work! Happy PPF - Irma

  2. really nice and luv the quotes also; happy PPF

    much love...

  3. Beautiful post - your artwork is so lovely as well. Thank you for reminding me that Lent is a time for deep soul renewal - which renews us physically as well

  4. I love your suggestions for Lent and your explanation of it. I am not Roman Catholic but several Christian churches on our island had a 40 day fast that started January 2nd of this year. It was very similar to what you explained. Now our RC Christian churches are taking up their 40 day fast for Lent. This is wonderful as our Island is being covered in dedicated prayer and fasting for 80 (almost consecutive) days.
    Your bible paintings are gorgeous and I LOVE your art in the park painting. I had to take a closer look because I actually thought it was an embroidery.
    Blessing hugs,

  5. I love your theme this week! Choose life - wonderful :)

  6. I love your art in a bible Patsy! Thanks for sharing this at What We Accomplished Wednesdays! Have a super week!
    Blessings, Deborah


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:^) Patsy