Lent is an invitation to a voluntary trip into the wilderness, that can prepare us for the inevitable involuntary trips into the wilderness.
It is a reminder that we are dust and that life is limited. But those limits are what give life its meaning. Since we don’t have countless moments, Lent is also an invitation to lean in and make the moments we do have count. It is an invitation to slow down long enough to see your true self pass by (Howard Thurman.) It is an invitation to taste the texture of each day. It is an invitation to turn towards all the things we spend so much time and energy turning away from. It is an invitation to the desert, but an invitation to find out that God dwells there too.
And as meaningful as Lent is, it is not a season unto itself. It’s a season that is going somewhere. It is a season whose road leads up to the unlikeliest of hope. Lent is ironically also about hope. It is! It might not feel like it and it might not look like it, but Lent is a reminder that no season no matter how bitter is a dead end.
Beloved. Over these next 40 days may the Lord Bless you, more strongly than anything that is presently trying its best to curse you.
May The Lord Keep you, so tenderly that you would remember that you do indeed have a keeper.
May the face of God shine brightly upon you, so brightly that you would remember that the sun came before the storm, and the sun will come out after it.
And may God deal graciously with you, so graciously that it becomes how you deal with yourself, and with others. Amen.
The Reverend Mark Anthony Chase
All Saints Church, Pasadena
[photo credit: John H. Taylor | Joshua Tree, March 2022]