Lenten Focus: With Open Hands

Posted by Scott Hovey on February 15, 2024

It seems like the world is stuck in the ‘closed’ position. 

Closed minds, closed hearts, closed borders, closed wallets, closed fists. 

Closed is self-protective, closed is distrustful, closed is distant. 

Closed makes love impossible. Closed leaves no room for faith. 

Being closed arises from fear- fear of other people, fear of the future, fear of loss. 

But the love of God is not closed, it is, always and forever, open.

The book of Deuteronomy uses this closed/ open image as the people of Israel are about to enter the promised land. God says, “If there is anyone in need do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted towards your needy neighbor. You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need.” Deuteronomy 15:7-8

‘With Open Hands’ is our theme for Lent this year. 

It is meant to remind us that God comes to us with open hands, freely sharing abundantly. And we are called to do the same, sharing our blessings with those around us. 

Consider how you might adopt a posture of openness this Lent:

  • Share a word of encouragement with someone.
  • Share a meal or coffee with someone new.
  • Share what you have.
  • Share your prayers.

As Lent moves us toward Holy Week, we will explore themes of fear and faith, themes that we see play out in the cross and resurrection of Jesus.

May we explore the ways we tend toward ‘closedness:’ our fears, our anxieties, our what-if’s. And may we seek the courage to step past our closedness and be challenged to live with open hands- with others and with God.

Welcome to Lent! 

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