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Dear Lenten Pilgrims,

Last year, I gave up coffee for Lent. It went as you would expect; I found myself longing for Easter resurrection many times.

This year, I’ve decided a different approach. It doesn’t involve giving up something as it does focusing on something. It is captured in a word that I’m claiming as a guide over the next forty days.


I’m going to focus as much attention as I can on savoring every aspect of being alive.

  • Savoring each conversation.
  • Savoring each bite.
  • Savoring each breath.
  • Savoring each punchline.
  • Savoring each sunset.
  • Savoring each beautiful day.
  • Savoring each ugly day.
  • Savoring every sensation of being alive.

Other traditions might call this mindfulness. It is a focus on the present that counters grief (which pulls us into the past) and fear (which pulls us into the future.) Savoring is a spiritual companion to gratitude, since one cannot be thankful without pausing, and pausing is an invitation to savoring.

In a way, I guess I am giving up something for Lent after all.

  • Giving up hurriedness.
  • Giving up envy.
  • Giving up shame.
  • Giving up boredom.
  • Giving up excess.
  • Giving up selfishness.
  • Giving up distractions.
  • Giving up life as usual, to gain life as God intends.

I’ll see how it goes. And yes, I’ll be savoring every sip of coffee.

Grace and Peace,

The Rev. Magrey deVega
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist