Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I write to you on the eve of Lent, good old Ash Wednesday. I received a couple of emails after my last post so I think I should clarify whats going on.

I think that there are times in our lives where God calls us into a quite reflection. This is not a good or bad thing but rather a time period to sit back and take stock, sort of speak, of where I am in my life now and where I think I am going. I have honestly been hit the past couple of weeks by an emotional tidal-wave and I needed to unpack it and see how I can work with it. Well last Friday I got to officiate one of our "Black Friday" Evening Prayers and it was in that moment that I felt the Spirit coming upon me and re-energizing me. When we came to the personal intercessions, I said, "In thanksgiving for a renewed Spirit." I feel like I am on top of the world again. I am still not the bubbly person that I usually am but I have a clearer picture of what is going on in my life. I know that I am in the right place at the right time of my life. When I started the discernment process I was instructed to read a book called Listening Hearts in this book it talks about some of the signs of knowing if you are on the right path is that things seems to fall into place. I now have a writing coach to help me with my writing, I heard from Matthew about the wonderful people who have helped him recover from surgery, Lucy is feeling better after her surgery (well enough to destroy another one of my pillows) and I am being able to head to see my sister and my family in Arizona as well as taking a much needed vacation for Matthew and I in Las Vegas.

I have also been blessed to have many people step up in my life here in California to support me in ways that I could not imagine. Many times it is just someone saying Jason lets go for lunch you need to get out of here or someone realizing I have been spending way too much time on my Martin Luther paper and posting the 95 Theses on my door (Thanks AE You know who you are :-)) I feel that God sends people into our lives when we need them the most.

I have also been pondering about the future and what is laying in front of me. This summer I will be in a CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) program at United Hospital, next fall I will be getting my hands dirty and working in a parish here in California. I also get to start taking more electives in my course work to help me to get a broader experience of seminary.

The main thing that I feel I have learned from these last few weeks is that this is me growing more and more into who I am. This is not to say that I wont get down or upset ever again but rather each time this happen I am able to discern what is going on and see how to respond to it, if I need to.

As for Ash Wednesday, since I was small I used to love Ash Wednesday. I used to love to walk around with ashes on my head. It was this sign that helped me to remember that I was Christian and with this big black cross on my forehead there was no way of denying that. The other reason I loved this time of year was what the priest would say when they put the ashes on my head. Depending on the priest you got you would hear, "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel." or "Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return." The first saying for me is what we are charged with for our whole life not just Lent. We should turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel. This is not to say that we will never sin but rather when we do we can turn and continue to live the Gospel. The Gospel calls us to live in Charity, Peace and Love. These are very simple messages that we can live our lives by. I think that many times people get so caught up in the who is right and who is wrong that often the messages of Charity, Peace and Love are forgotten.

So as I start my journey into Lent, I offer this as my Lenten discipline, I am going to keep a positive focus for the next 40 days. I can sit and keep worrying about things that I dont have answers to right now such as, how am I going to pay for this after I am done, will I have a job after seminary, or where will Matthew and I end up living after this is all over and live in these ambiguous questions or I can choose to see the positive in the experiences that I am having here. I am going to try to live the Gospel in my life and my challenge to you is to try and do the same, this Lent and after.

I ask you to please keep me in your prayers and know that I will be keeping you in mine.

I saw the cartoon below and realized that part of our Christian life is that we should laugh. So in good fashion I offer you the Ash Wednesday Carton below.

I wish you all a very Happy Lent Season! Happy Ash Wednesday.


Jason Lucas

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Why God? Why This?

Have you ever wondered why things happen in your life when they do? As I have started this semester and now a few weeks into it, I sometimes ask the question of why do certain things happen to others and to me in this part of our lives? Well from what I have learned and prayed about the answer is a clear, "I have no idea." I think I have a few assumptions but not sure.

Here they go:
1) It will hep you grow. True it will help me to grow as a person and to be a better human being, or a better student, a better husband or whatever it will help me grow.

2) It just is what it is. As much as I do not like this assumption I have to say that this is where I tend to see a much better answer for me. There are sometimes in our lives where things happen just because they happened. This does not mean I am being punish or cursed but it just needed to happen.

3) To test me. This is the one that I really do not put much weight into. I don't feel like Lot where I am being tested to prove my love for God. Rather the opposite is true.

Now you are probably reading this asking, "Jason what the heck is going on in your mind right now?" Well to fill you in I have started my second semester of seminary and in some ways the polish has started to dull. The second semester you do not get to pick an elected and the "newness" of seminary starts to diminish. This is not to say that I am not happy but rather it is a different feeling. I will also admit that the loneliness is starting to really hit home this semester. Being way from Matthew and the animals really has been hard.

These past few weeks I have been asking myself, "what do I want to get out of Seminary?" Going to seminary I thought I was going to come out a priest and that is it. I will have to say that it is my job in seminary to be a better Christian who feels that God is calling me to be a priest. In seminary there are many challenges that one faces, budgeting time, homework, reading, chapel obligations, field ed, community life, and in my case writing. Each of these challenges brings me into a better place in my life. The challenge of budgeting my time is a valuable skill that I will need for the rest of my life. Homework and reading keep telling me that I never can stop learning, rather I must strive to learn more and more each day. Chapel obligations, for me this is where I have most fun. To come into worship to spend time in prayer with God and my peers is an experience that I love more and more each day. This for me feeds my soul to give me the drive to stay another day in the service of God and the Church. As some of you know I open the chapel 4 days of out 5 here at the seminary and I usually get about 15-20 min alone in the chapel before people show up for morning prayer. It is in this time that I have my talks with God. We talk about things that are on my mind, the happy, sad, good and ugly. As much as I would love to sleep in each day, being able to open the chapel and have that time with God is so valuable to me. Community life is something that we get here in the seminary in droves. As with any community we are a family, that means we are a FAMILY, we celebrate our lives together, be there for each other and sometimes argue with each other. This does not mean we do not love each other but rather we want to learn from each other, even though sometimes we completely disagree.

This past couple of weeks have been really interesting for me, I have been in a more quiet space in my life. I tend to be quite in many aspects of my life with many of you know is very difficult for me to do. I think that right now I am needing to sort many things out and that this quiet time will help me to get a better grasp on what I need to be doing.

Finally, I wanted to tell you about a wonderful gift that I got today. One of my fellow students was talking to me and I was telling her how much I had been missing home, Matthew and the dogs, and today I got in the mail a wonderful package with a Port-A-Pug kit (Picture Below). It was so wonderful that I started to tear up. This act made me feel loved and listened to. I am so appreciative for her, this gift helped me to brighten up my day.

I am so thankful for the ability to be here and even though the challenges God continues to bless me and I hope that he will bless you as well.

You are all in my prayers.


Jason Lucas