As we travel the road of Lent, together, we are always aware and drawn to Easter that will follow. It calls to us with all its promise. While that is so, we remain in Lent. This time of year isn’t simply about making it through the challenges, injustice, and brokenness that life may bring; rather, it is a time where we acknowledge and celebrate that God is with us in those times, and that God provides the promise and Way to new life.
The journey of Lent can include (maybe should include) our being discomforted – discomforted by human suffering, violence and loss, pain and despair, the way it seems we, as a human family, are bent on bumping into or running over one another more than embracing and lifting up one another. It is a time that calls us into our own experience, as well as to compassionately connect to others. While it may seem easier to just divert our attention and eyes, this is the only way to wholeness and healing, and through Lent is the only way to Easter.
This is a good time and a fruitful season. Journeying together during Lent invites us to self-awareness, self-knowledge, mindfulness, and reflection. It also compels us to see we are not to go it alone. “It” is life and Lent. Our ultimate dependence upon God calls us to be drawn nearer, and in this realization and our faithful effort, we find our interdependence upon one another to be a good and rewarding place for investment. Such movements, though, may bring about even more discomfort as they call us to self-giving, authentic relationship, embracing our limitations and need for God and others, all of which invite us to accepting our vulnerability.
Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem and the cross is a story that includes his willingness to be vulnerable in loving and calling creation to new life as God would have it. Through his vulnerability, he lives. Abundantly lives. Even through the cross, God loves Jesus to new life. God is with you/us in this and all seasons. Let us travel together that we may grow and be strengthened together on the Way to Easter.
Throughout this season of Lent, I invite you to:
- Pick a Gospel and join in the story. Without trying to figure out the meaning of every verse or story, just join with those who walk in the presence of Jesus.
- Connect. Connect with people in significant ways. At All Pilgrims, there are and will be plenty of opportunities for this – fellowship, worship, Beer and Hymns (6:00, this Sunday, March 16), serve at Community Supper on Thursdays, and so on. Connect with a heartfelt awareness that we are in this together, and through and to you God moves.
- In your openness, seek to move closer to God and to “see” God’s grace and presence in and through your being.
Followers of Jesus know that even in the darkest moments of the night, they look to the east with the promise in their heart that the sun will rise. Then, the rooster crows and our heart jumps as it is near. In Lent, we are Easter people!