Pathways through Lent

Early Mornings

Psalm 78:1–7 Proverbs 9:1-6 1 Timothy 4:6-16 Luke 4:14-21

As a young professional living in Atlanta a number of years ago, I found myself—like many others—working well into the evening nearly every day of the week. By Sunday morning, I was greatly tempted to stay home rather than get up to attend worship services.

I finally decided to start a new routine and attend the 7:30 service at a local parish.

The first Sunday I arrived about 5 minutes early—and enjoyed the quiet of the early mornings in a way I hadn’t expected.

On Sundays thereafter, I found myself rising and arriving even earlier. I would sit in the nearly empty church, kneeling in the silence and feeling the presence of God. I came to feel the love of God in a way I had never experienced before.

I found that even with my hectic schedule I could stop for a few moments and feel God’s presence. In those early mornings, I learned that God did not protect me from the difficulties of life, from less-than-perfect decisions or their consequences, but that He loved me, supported me, encouraged me, and rejoiced with me through all things.

As life gets ever more busy, we are all tempted to sleep in on Sunday mornings, to trim our time with God in order to meet our obligations. This Lent, may we be willing to rise a little earlier—and to listen a little longer to what God has to teach us.

–Susan Welch

February 28