Eliza got a 2000 piece jigsaw puzzle for our family to do. It’s huge – it takes up half of our dining room table. We were working on it every day for while, but it’s hard, and we’’ve slacked off. One reason that it’s hard is that some pieces seem to fit together, only to figure out later that they don’t – the better match is somewhere else. So we take a piece out and put the real one in place.
Sometimes we do this in life – we realize our actions and behaviors aren’t genuine or the best we can be, so we have to let go of something – then search to find a better fit. A better way of being ourselves. A likeness of God’s image we were created in. Lent is our sacred season when we focus on cultivating this imago dei often by letting go (dying) and/or taking on (rising).
This Lent our theme for worship will be the same as last Lent: “Wholeheartedness.” But in our sermons, I’m going deeper than last year, as well as using some different scriptures. Some of this is based on Brene’ Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection. Brown has done research and teaching on shame and how it impacts us. She doesn’t stop there – she talks about how courage, compassion and connection drive out our shame. In her book she has 10 “Guideposts for Wholehearted Living.” Each one focuses on something to let go of while we cultivate something more healthy. For instance, the guidepost I’ve done the most work on lately is letting go of comparison and cultivating creativity.
We may not get to each guidepost, but if you want to know more, I encourage you to read Brown’s book. There is also a wholehearted inventory that you can do at the website: brenebrown.com. Our time will be spent on getting to the wholehearted person we were created to be. That means there will be letting go, dying to self, and maybe some grief. But sometimes the pieces are in the wrong place or we’ve been working on the puzzle we think others want us to, instead of the one that aligns with our likeness of God’s image. This is our puzzle this Lent.