Lent is coming! I know…it is not as exciting as Christmas or Easter, but Lent serves an important purpose. Lent reminds us that God turns toward us with compassion and offers us the gift of hope.
To me, Lent often seems a bit melancholy. Through the years we have characterized it as a time to exam what is wrong with ourselves and our world. But that is not the whole meaning of Lent. Like a young adult asking, “What do I want to do with the rest of my life? Who do I want to be?” Lent gives us the annual opportunity to discern God’s call in our lives. It is a time to reflect on our past, examine our present, and prepare for our future. It is exciting to stand before God and say, “Show me who I am, who I can be, and the potential I have to share your love with others.” In many ways, Lent is like peeling away the layers of insulation around us and looking for the prize deep inside each of us that reveals our true selves and our God-given abilities. Then, with our hearts open, dreaming about the unique way we can reveal God’s compassion to the world around us.
You see, there really is some excitement in Lent. We start out a bit leery of looking at our true selves and end the journey on Easter, enthusiastic about the resurrection that leads to an outpouring of love to the world. Lent is a journey we take with Jesus that prepares us to be his hands and heart.
It is also a journey we take with each other. Through worship and our Wednesday Lenten services, we take steps together examining the impact Jesus’ life and death make on our lives of faith. Together, we prepare ourselves to hear, and then to share, the good news of Easter. Together, we get ready to be disciples in today’s world.
Lent is not always dramatic, but it always calls us to remember the core of who we are as people and as Christians. May God bless the journey.
It is a joy to be one of your pastors.