No matter how early Ash Wednesday comes every year, we have the assurance of Spring waiting around a cold corner to unveil the earth with new life. The view outside my window today brings a mixed message as Spring perches on a winter-ish branch above would-be blossoms buried under the weight of snow.
It’s easy to fix our eyes on what we see instead of what we hope to see. Considering the frequency of devastation many have been experiencing, it’s difficult to see the hope of a springtime beneath the weight of our times. Our soul begs for rest from what’s going on around us and inside us. And so, we live in expectation despite a mixed message of a lamenting-joyful season that begins with a drive-by path of ashes but leads to the shadow of a life-giving cross. A beautifully mixed message.
Lent always ends with an Easter – where guilt is crucified to become grace and redemption.
At the time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and nights and afterward was hungry. The tempter approached and said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread. He said, “it is written – one does not live by bread alone but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God. Matthew’s gospel
Lent, an old English word meaning spring literally means lengthening of days as the light lingers. It’s about so much more than people-made rules of what to give up. Instead it’s a time to give -to linger in the Light and abide in the Awe of what our loving Savior has done. Having a sacred intention to know our God and know ourselves in a deeper way brings focus on hope and less on the bleak of a mixed message. When we linger in the stillness, a reflection appears in the well of the Word. If we’re there . . .
May we not miss a Lenten moment of this special season. As we walk through the forty-day journey, my prayer for you and for me, is for the retreat to lengthen into a holy habit for the next three-hundred-twenty-five after . . .and more.
“It is written”