The morning opened softly, with a hazy sunrise, which tells me, even in March, it might be a warmish day. This is the softness I have come to associate with Lent. The hard earth softens, bark loosens up on trees, fuzz comes out on branches, and as the earth loosens up, so do our limbs, and minds, and maybe even our hearts. As inward and self-reflective as Lent runs the risk of being, that self-curved-in-on-self, here, everything of earth calls us turn toward it, to come out and stretch, clear out the stiffness of winter. This week’s readings are utterly beautiful, as all of them are in Lent. We’re starting with the promises of God to Abraham, the promise of faith, and Jesus will teach about the Spirit, and the mystery of rebirth.
Lent means spring. It’s an anglicized word that comes from German, meaning long, reflecting the lengthening of the days in the northern hemisphere. We know it’s spring in our neighborhood, and that the time has changed, because we hear children playing outside after dinner, now; one big change in a short few days. Tomorrow, there is a snowstorm coming, at least that’s what the news folks are saying. The world is praying for a lost plane over Malaysia, for peace between the Ukraine, Russia, Crimea, for peace in Syria, and hope and help for so many other parts of the world. And yet, in the midst of all of it, spring is coming, just as Easter comes, with inevitable warmth and light, and softening, of earth, of sky, or hearts.
May God be with you today, and lead your Lent pilgrimage with the Spirit’s gentle touch.