Lenten Series: Identity
Updated: Mar 23
Our Week 1 theme for Advent is Identity.
Who are you? What both grounds you and motivates you to act? What’s your story?
This week you might spend time writing a few sentences that answer those questions. As caregivers it’s important to know both who we are and why we do what we do. For suggestions on writing your personal creed, check this out.
Here are today’s lectionary readings. They give us insight into who Jesus is and what he does (or doesn’t) do! Remember to read everything, not just what seems easy or appealing!
Is your creed and story part of something bigger? In the beginning of The Wounded Healer, Nouwen suggests that many people in our culture cannot see themselves as part of a larger story. People living in this post-modern age understand the story of Christianity as ‘unchanging and rigid ideology’. This ‘system’ doesn’t work in our rapidly changing world. Nouwen wrote this nearly 50 years ago, and since then, the pace of change has become faster and faster!
Whether you are part of a Christian community or not, I recommend this podcast from Ronnie McBrayer. He talks about story and gives us a simple way to measure how we are doing in life. It's an antidote to the idea of Christianity as old and irrelevant. In this digital age, sacred listening (rather than reading) as one of our three practices is certainly an option. (Go back to the introduction for a refresher on the other two!) Ronnie’s message reminds me that a creed is just the starting point. It is the place from where we act and offer healthy caregiving to others.
In Anatomy of the Soul, Dr. Thompson talks about understanding our personal stories and explains how important the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of our brain is to making sense of our story. He cites another book, The Mindful Brain and the characteristics of a healthy PFC. The first is flexibility. “Behavior and emotional resilience in the face of stress.” This is where the yoga comes in!
The practice of focusing on our breath and moving our bodies in healthy ways enables us to be more resilient and handle stress when it comes our way. So here are the two yoga videos…
Seated Practice - Identity. This one is designed to be done seated in a chair. Use this with family and/or co-workers to kick off a meal or meeting.