Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday! | What’s Lent All About?

It has begun.
The season of Lent.
Perhaps not our favorite season because it leads along a pathway we don’t necessarily enjoy.

We who know the story know what lies ahead.
Some call it a crucifixion.
Some call it a gift.

But how can it be that a man gives up his life, and it becomes a gift for the likes of me?

If we take the time to use this season of Lent to reflect on the Word of God, the power of His love, and the hope we have in Him, it is not so hard to believe.

But we don’t like Lent. It requires us to be more quiet than usual, somehow more reverent it seems, and we want to be scurrying about planning Easter dinner, preparing baskets of goodies for the kids, and planting spring flowers.

We don’t have time to be reflective, to be slower than usual. We don’t want to take the time to reflect.

Sometimes it seems our lives are controlled by mechanisms so cleverly built and planned that they too take our time, in addition to jobs and family and so much more.

Some of the time in which we might reflect. Can we just put aside looking every time

  • We hear that little ditty on our phones that signifies a text just came in?
  • Or the alarm on our computer that says, “You’ve got mail?”
  • Or can we go a day without watching TV?
  • What about no social media?

These are all things that are so common in our days, so taken for granted as part of who we are and what we are about. And we often allow them to hinder our focus on God.

But shouldn’t we be more about God’s gifting to us eternal life? Gifting to us the only Son He had? Giving us the promise of forgiveness?

God who loves us unconditionally, accepting our flaws, mistakes and yes, our sins without question?

The following poem by Ann Weems speaks to the season of Lent, and I suggest that perhaps we are found in her words:


Via Flickr

Via Flickr

The Walk
by Ann Weems

Those of us who walk along this road
do so reluctantly.
Lent is not our favorite time of year.

We’d rather be more active—
planning and scurrying around.
All this is too contemplative to suit us.
Besides we don’t know what to do
with piousness and prayer.

Perhaps we’re afraid to have time to think,
for thoughts come unbidden.
Perhaps we’re afraid to face our future
knowing our past.
Give us courage, O God,
to hear your word
and to read our living into it.
Give us the trust to know we’re forgiven,
and give us the faith
to take up our lives and walk.

– from Kneeling in Jerusalem, by Ann Weems. ©1992 Westminster/John Knox Press

Once again, we are in a time of waiting and preparation.
It takes patience to wait.
It takes commitment to wait.

REFLECTION: What will you do with this time? Will you honor God by giving Him an extra measure of you during this season? Will you take time to reflect on God’s goodness to us?


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Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday: Walking as a Child of the Light

We are a church in transition.

For the next few weeks, we’ll be facing pastors we perhaps don’t know, we have never met, we’ve likely never seen.

It is unsettling.

Yesterday the words “transformation” and “transfiguration” appeared consistently throughout the message during worship. Both held great meaning for our times as things around us change and morph into something new, a new normal.

One of the hymns spoke to me. It too was new to me, something I’d never heard.

As I listened to the music and the words, I realized that if we walk as children of the light, our path will be illuminated by the one and only God and His Son, Jesus.

Why should we worry? Why should we fear?

12-13 God said to Moses, “Climb higher up the mountain and wait there for me; I’ll give you tablets of stone, the teachings and commandments that I’ve written to instruct them.” So Moses got up, accompanied by Joshua his aide. And Moses climbed up the mountain of God.

14 He told the elders of Israel, “Wait for us here until we return to you. You have Aaron and Hur with you; if there are any problems, go to them.”

15-17 Then Moses climbed the mountain. The Cloud covered the mountain. The Glory of God settled over Mount Sinai. The Cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day he called out of the Cloud to Moses. In the view of the Israelites below, the Glory of God looked like a raging fire at the top of the mountain.

18 Moses entered the middle of the Cloud and climbed the mountain. Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

~Exodus 24:12-18

REFLECTION: Are you facing change? At home, at work, at school? Perhaps in your church? How are you handling the transition to a new normal?