Lenten Message, Week 3, The Way of Laughter

Lent is traditionally a time for giving up something–a practice that sounds serious and often feels dour. This past Lenten Sunday at CCH was a time to laugh and celebrate humor. One of the most important attributes of inner joy is a healthy sense of humor. Not laughing or belittling others, but genuine humor that grows out of a situation and is often self-deprecating. You cannot find a more wonderful example of this than displayed by the Dalai Lama and Bishop Desmond Tutu in our Lenten study book, “The Book of Joy.” Three of the attributes of joy are acceptance, humility and humor. Pastor Mark explores these in his sermon from Sunday, “The Way of Laughter.”

The Weekly Prayer Assignment
A Prayer to Build Humility

We invite you to engage each day this week in a prayer of humility. First, find a quiet place for your prayers and set aside 10 minutes each day to practice. Sit comfortably with your feet flat, or with crossed legs on the floor if you prefer. Close your eyes and begin by focusing on your breath. You may repeat the Easter Orthodox Jesus prayer (Pastor Mark’s version) with your breath. While breathing in think to yourself “Jesus Christ, brother of mine,” and while breathing out, “Be present with me, here and now.”
After you feel centered and your mind is clear begin to reflect on all the people who are responsible for your life. Think of your parents, who gave you life, your teachers who taught you, the people who grew your food and who made your clothes. Think of the countless others who are responsible for you having the life you have. Think of all your ancestors who had to live, and survive, so that you could be born, who braved enormous hardship so that you could live. Then, allow your heart to open and experience love and appreciation for all of these people. Experience the enormous joy and appreciation that come from being in touch with all that has been given to you. Offer a prayer of gratitude to God. Continue to think of this and your breath until the 10 minutes is up. (You can use a timer to help keep track). When you are done record your thoughts, and any other insights, in your prayer journal.

“The Book of Joy,” by the Dalai Lama, Bishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams is our source book for this series. It also contains many prayer practices including the ones we will be using in the Lenten series at church.

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