Lent: taking A Leave of Presence
As the Lenten Planning Team developed a theme for this year’s Lenten season, we were guided by Jesus’ decision to follow the Holy Spirit into the wilderness in the days following his baptism. No doubt many of us have shared the urge to journey into the wilderness with God. It is often much harder than we expect to discern the path that God lays out before us. Each of us has a number of forces competing for our attention, tempting us to “disengage,” to momentarily escape. For Christ, his 40 days were not a chance to escape, but a chance to experience the real and clarifying presence of the Holy Spirit.
During Lent 2019, as we reflect on Christ’s wilderness journey, we invite the community of Oakhurst to take what we are calling A Leave of Presence. During this Leave of Presence, each one of us is invited to spend more time examining her or his own lived experience of the Holy Spirit. As we consider the traditional disciplines of this season, let us also consider those forces in our lives that distract us from experiencing the presence of God. “taking A Leave of Presence” will hold different opportunities for each of us, but behind it is the truth that the Holy Spirit is always present, waiting for us to experience it. We need only give ourselves the chance.