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Lent 2024: Mending the Fabric of Faith In Our Hearts by Sis. Dora Muhammad


 

“Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing.”

Joel 2:12-13

 

February 19, 2024


Mending the Fabric of Our Hearts


Whether a broad smudge or a distinct cross, I welcome receiving ashes across my forehead on Ash Wednesday to mark my mortality as the dust that my flesh will become after it is returned to the earth. This ancient sign of mourning, along with wearing and tearing sackcloth, has evolved into ceremonies of ash where grief embodies repentance, and God calls us to make it not a vanity to showcase righteousness.


The traditional public rending of clothing sewn from course goat’s hair reflects for me the rough fabric of our lives that breaks our spirit’s humility. Within the essence of Lent, we mend our hearts, restore our faith, and deepen our connection to God. How we elevate these roots of sacred love in our lives through our Lenten practices will hold distinction this year because Ash Wednesday coincides with Valentine’s Day and its commercialization of love.


I grew up amplifying the Lenten practice of almsgiving, following my mother’s example. For the first time this year, three generations will travel to our Caribbean ancestral home to help my mother with her Lenten “cook-up.” For a week, she prepares dinner and, in the front courtyard of my grandmother’s home, serves the hungry who gather from parishes across the island. This service to our community is a reminder that Lent honors the 40-day period Jesus prepared for his public ministry of breaking oppressive yokes and making humanity whole.



                                                    Sister Dora Muhammad

Member

 

Prayer: Compassionate God, mend our spirits and kindle renewed faith from the ashes within our lives as we return our hearts to you. Amen.

 

Lent 2024

We invite you to join us in reflection, meditation and prayer for a season of renewal, repentance and rejoicing from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday.


Each day is a reflection representing the thoughts and aspirations of the members and friends of Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church expressing what the season of Lent means to them.  Their wide range of perspectives describe how this time of renewal, repentance and rejoicing has been and will be used to focus on Jesus’ life, crucifixion and resurrection.


Read along with us each day or download the book to read and write along with us offline.


 

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