No matter how early Ash Wednesday comes every year we always have the assurance spring is waiting around the cold corner to unveil the earth with new life.
It’s Ash Wednesday – almost. And it brings hope and a 40-day journey that has purpose and destination.
Lent, an Old English word meaning spring, begins in the dust of ashes, journeys through darkness, and ends up in beauty and triumph. But how do we get from desert to destination while pressing through the temptations in the wilderness of the world?
Today we’re pulled in so many stressful directions it can be a fresh breath to come away and examine self and soul in the holy stillness . . . to remember hope and grace.
Our Lord journeyed in the wilderness for forty-fasting days and faced betrayal, beatings and brokenness on the cross . . . and we give up the lure of Godiva and nices and vices for a few weeks. Sounds crazy, I know.
And then there’s the social thing, somehow it seems so Lent-ish to go “twitterless,” don’t you think? We are always busy do-ing and never busy be-ing. . .
So imagine fasting forty days in the desert. Imagine fasting forty days. I want to imagine the sacrifice before the sacrifice.
To be still and really know . . .
In the dark and lonely place of testing and encounter, the Son of God became like us so we could become like Him and have complete dependence on the Father to accomplish the destination.
Lent is not about a season that comes and goes – it’s about the journey of deeply drawing near to Him who is faithful to take us through . . . and take us to. . . .
In the weeks ahead may we give up forty days of yes and make a choice to shut out the usual and take hallowed time to reconnect, refresh, and renew our weary selves in the “it is written.” And just like with the assurance of spring, there will be unveiling to bring new life on our journey.
Then Jesus was led up by the Sprit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after forty days and forty nights He was hungry. And the tempter came an said to Him, “If You are the Son of God command these stones to become loaves of bread. But He answered, “It is written” . . . Matthew 4:4