You might remember that the word Lent comes from the old Latin word for spring. And now as a long cold winter comes to a close (actually a short warm winter) we turn our attention to spring. It has been a strange year. One day the temperature is in the 60's and the next day it's below freezing. I write this on the Friday before Presidents' Day Weekend. A weekend that has had a history of major snow storms and the forecast calls for sunny days in the mid 60's. Having spring-like temperature in the middle of winter reminds us of how unpredictable the weather can be.
The season of Lent reminds us that life is just as unpredictable as the weather. We have good days and bad. Sometimes it seems as if the bad days will never give way to better days. Other times it seems as if the good times will never end. Lent reminds us that we are just passing through this world. Like Lent, this life is just a journey leading us from one place or time, to the next.
Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, orienting us to the fact that we are mortal, “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.” There is no sugar coating that message. We know what will someday happen to each and every one of us. We spend the entire season of Lent reflecting upon our mortality, the role that sin plays in our lives, and the importance of our relationship with God. Just when we have had enough of this self-examination the joyous celebration of Easter breaks in and in many ways we are born anew. Just when we have come to the brink in facing our shortcomings we are reminded of the glorious power of God active in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Lent ends with God reminding us of the future we will share with him on the last day when all shall be raised incorruptible. God reminds us that God will turn all our sorrows into joy, all our despair into hope. Just as the cold and dreary winter gives way to the beauty of spring, all the sorrow and despair of this world will turn to joy when the son of God fulfills His promises and returns to gather all those who believe in Him. Lent reminds us that we’re on a journey, a journey to meet up with the one who paved the way for us in this world and the next.
Grace and Peace,