• on February 13, 2023

We Need Lent!

It’s the rare person who says, “Oh great, it’s Lent again!” But we need Lent. Lent is a very mature season of the church year. It calls on us to grow, to prepare, to be stretched, by God’s grace. It does invite us to consider the desert times of life… you know, those experiences that we don’t post on Facebook or mention in our Christmas cards. We all have them. But Lent is about the redemption of all of life! The redemption of the times of sorrow as well as those of joy. It’s about finding that ALL of life is held in the love of God. We see this as we consider the cross.

As Vincent Pizzuto wrote in his book Contemplating Christ:
“The cross is an enigma. To gaze upon it is to see terror and beauty reconciled. Not a beauty born of appearances or facades but a beauty turned inside out in kenotic love, [the love of Jesus as both human and divine]. Is not our commemoration of Christ’s passion called Good Friday because we see something radically beautiful, not in his pain and suffering, but in the magnitude of the love that bore it? To celebrate the death of Christ is to celebrate the death of death.”

This is, of course, an ongoing theme of the Christian faith. We believe in the cross and finding it in our own lives. Lent is more a matter of emphasis and intentionality in prayer, in giving and in acts of penitence. But at the end, the cross is triumphant! During this Lenten journey, as we turn towards what we usually turn away from we find that in the pain and darkness we truly aren’t alone! There is nothing to fear. Christ, the Resurrected One, is with us just as he promised. What a profound beauty God gifts us with at those moments. What a freedom! Lent casts our gaze in directions that provide great growth for us, giving substance to the definition of Lent… revealing it as truly the “Springtime of the Soul”. The fruit of Lent allows us to experience both the beauty and the suffering of the world and because they are held so securely in the Lord, to treat them almost the same.

I pray that this Lenten season is one of discovery and growth, that we might at the end of it all find ourselves blooming along with the lilies of Easter Sunday!

Pastor Jennifer

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