I recently went grocery shopping and to my dismay, discovered most of the canned cat food was gone from the cat food aisle. My finicky cat, Irene, may have to go without the privilege of a dollop of salmon with gravy on her dry food for a few days. In the scope of life, not a big deal. But many of us have experienced scarcity over the past few months that’s been much more consequential due to the shortage supply. Scarcity has become somewhat commonplace.

Lent (the forty days, excluding Sundays, leading up to Easter) is the season in the church year often associated with intentional scarcity. We give up certain foods, beverages or activities we particularly enjoy, as a spiritual practice of leaving behind the old to prepare for new life offered to us in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Sometimes these Lenten rituals do result in deeper spiritual awareness and new life in Jesus Christ. A lot of times the giving up is more a conversation piece and lacks much spiritual meaning.

This year our Lenten theme, Full to the Brim, is an invitation. Rather than focusing on scarcity, we’re being invited into a full life where we intentionally recognize God’s grace being poured out. I encourage you to check out the opportunities being planned for children, youth and adults in which our lives can be filled to the brim with God’s lavish love. It is our hope and prayer this love will spill into the lives of others as we journey to the cross and prepare to celebrate the miracle of an empty tomb. --Pastor Anne