Letting Go for Lent

Van Gogh’s painting of The Sower

Sing a song of sowing, of carrying the seed

A song of hopeful planting, to meet a future need,

Sing a song of letting go, and falling to the ground,

Of burying that feels like loss, still waiting to be found

These are the opening words of a lyric I wrote for Redemption Song, a play about the story of Ruth and Naomi, but they have come back to me as I turn my thoughts to the late Lent that starts this month. It seems fitting that Lent, a season for ‘letting go’ should coincide with spring, a season for sowing seed. Perhaps we should see our Lenten observance as the ‘letting go’ of a Sower of Seed, and not just the ‘giving up’ of an Abstemious Pharisee. If there are things we choose to do without, perhaps we should let them go into God, drop them as seeds, into the good ground of His Love, so as to receive them back at his hand, in another form and another season. This is what Jesus did for his forty days in the wilderness. He let go, and said ‘no’ to the temptation to make stones into bread, to make a private feast in the desert. But God took the seed of what he had ‘let go’ and it bore fruit a hundred fold when he broke bread in that same wilderness and shared it with five thousand. God gave him back what he gave up, but in a newer and better form, made possible by that first letting go.

And that was true of the deepest letting go of all. When it comes to Holy Week and Passiontide we shall see Jesus let his whole life go into God; “into thy hands I commit my spirit” he says from the cross. But that Good Friday ‘letting go and falling to the ground’, that ‘burying that felt like loss’ was the prelude to a glorious finding, and giving back on Easter Day.

Perhaps we can so ‘let go’ our lives into God this Lent that we may find that God has let his life go into us too, has planted his Love, His Son, as a spring-sown seed, to grow in our lives from Easter and Beyond.

Oh and by the way the lyric I mentioned above is from a song, also simply called Redemption, which I hope will appear on my next cd. Meanwhile the full lyrics are here and you can hear an early ‘mix’ of the whole song  here, or by clicking on the ‘play’ button below.


Filed under christianity, imagination, Music, paintings, Songs

2 responses to “Letting Go for Lent

  1. Gina Blackaby

    Mr. Guile, we are doing the play/drama Redemption Song of Naomi and Ruth at Creekside Christian Academy. I am the drama teacher and pastors wife. We would lvoe the music that Daniel Carleson says go with the play……..I am unable to contact him. Do youknow what music goes with this production? THankyou for letting me know…….Blessings for all you do………Gina Blackaby ginablackaby@creeksideacademy.org

    • malcolmguite

      Hi Gina. I wrote the song that was used in daniel’s play. we had different verses inbetween the different scenes as appropriate and i played a strolling player who came on to play the verses. you would be very welcome to use the song, either played by someone else or use my recording. it is now on my album Dancing Through the Fire under the title ‘A song for ruth’ so you could lay it from that. the album, or just the individual track, can be downloaded from itunes (just search Malcolm Guite)
      you can by the cd from Cambridge riffs here: http://www.cambridgeriffs.co.uk/DTTF_cd.html

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