An estimated 12 million adult coloring books were sold in the US in 2015. Initially, skeptics said coloring is just another fad. What they did not appreciate was how coloring books offered people an elixir, a way of getting past personal obstacles, and how it struck a deeply personal chord.
Poring over blank picture outlines, people, to varying degrees of meticulousness, color within the lines to bring a depicted image to life, while at the same time reviving within themselves the very essentials of life itself. Coloring relieves their stress, or processes the passing of a loved one, or acts like a meditative technique to craft a deeper sense of mindfulness and joy. For some it is simply relaxing and fun, because it helps to untangle some of life’s complexities.
Lent is a great season for coloring - and for spiritual reflection, and we are including this practice as a part of our own worship and reflection this Lent. You may purchase a copy of “Coloring the Psalms: Seeing God’s Patterns in Our Lives,” along with a set of coloring pencils, from the Church Office. We will refer to images in this book on each of the five Sundays of Lent. We hope that you may also find the time during the week to just sit quietly, color, and trace the rich patterns of God’s grace that outline your life.
This year, the five Sundays of Lent will also feature a light lunch, followed by 5 special programs aimed at freeing and enriching the spirit: A forum discussion (3/5), “How art reveals humanity’s propensity to color outside the lines”; Women’s and Men’s Circles (3/12) on Mindfulness and Stoicism; a Lectio Divina experience (3/19); a Church-wide hands-on outreach project (3/26); and a Celtic Concert (4/2), all held at noon.
Coloring - and the deeper intent of Lent, sets the human spirit free, which is why Lent is a perfect time to be unburdened and de-shackled from whatever feelings, thoughts and actions that may keep us from living daily in the freedom that Christ, on Easter, has won for us. And a freed, soaring spirit is no fad.