Monday, March 17, 2008

Beth: Not the End

From Beth Anderson, Earth Ministry Outreach Associate:

Yesterday, many of us celebrated Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem in our Passion (Palm) Sunday services—a beginning of an end, of sorts. Or perhaps it is actually the beginning of a new beginning…

For me, Holy Week often brings a time of conflicted emotions. They are, on one hand, the worst and darkest of days, yet on the other hand, I feel a rising sense of excitement for the ultimate celebration of life.

This year I am torn over the coming end to my Lenten practices. Sure, the vegan/local produce diet has been a challenge, but there have also been great rewards—new favorite recipes & restaurants, an increased awareness about how far grapes & mangoes travel to reach my grocery store in the winter.

As I look ahead to Easter morning I wonder, what does the end of Lent really mean? Well, if the resurrection brings new life to all of creation, then I (and my eating practices) can never be the same!

While I plan to incorporate some eggs and dairy back into my diet, I am also committed to do so in a more creation-friendly manner. As much as possible, I will buy animal products from farmers who raise their chickens, cows, and goats in a humane and sustainable way—that may mean paying a bit more for my eggs and cheese, or simply going without when those options are not available.

I will also continue to pay attention to the environmental cost of my fruits and vegetables—I look forward to summer and the start of my local farmers market!

The bottom line is this—for Lent to be truly meaningful, we must look forward to the renewal and rebirth offered through the resurrection. The experience of struggle changes each of us, and we go into the next season with new eyes to see, new ears to hear, and new lives to celebrate!

Blessings to you during this Holy Week…

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