As we enter another Lenten season in the shadow of a pandemic do we even know what it is not to be in the wilderness anymore? Every time we think we have reached the promised land we are turned away and keep wandering. Again, we feel hope that we may soon see an end to the pandemic. Things seem so much better, but will they stay that way?
We see the start of war in Ukraine, the continuance of war in too many places, and ask ourselves how this can happen. Where is God when children are being bombed, when families young and old flee from their homes, when people of all ages feel the only way to keep themselves and loved ones safe is to take up arms?
It can feel like we’re in a literal and spiritual wilderness. Because of this, I give thanks that we have a God who understands this, that we are given a season meant to remind us how essential these feelings are to what it means to be human and thus faithful.
Lent reminds us that acknowledging feeling lost, mourning, complaining, regret, is an important practice. Even when we feel most separated from God, God is still there. Our lives may be cracking around us, but those cracks let us seep out of our self-imposed boxes and be renewed.
It is incredibly hard to think about the future, to plan and to dream, when we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. We can’t always set aside our day to day concerns to be somehow pure in our visioning and discerning. We have real concerns and real needs to meet in the moment. It is idealistic to imagine that we can only move forward when we can be a place to set all else aside. So maybe our question is: how do we move through our wilderness?
We cannot control the form of the wilderness or even when we might be allowed to leave and step into a new land. But we can control how we walk now. We can let our faith form us in each moment, with each step. How do we handle stress and anxiety? Can we take up new practices, make new priorities for those snatched moments of calm? Can we find God in the chaos and let that spark possibility in our hopes?
In this Lenten season we will confess our brokenness, we will examine our cracks, and we will seek to find those moments where God breaks through our walls.
Join us at 7:00 pm in person or on Facebook for our Ash Wednesday service.
Pastor Laura will be providing ashes at the church between 9 am and noon on March 2 if you are unable to attend the evening service in person.
We will gather on Thursday evenings, March 3 – April 7, at 7 pm on Zoom for prayer and reflection.
We will worship together on Sunday mornings at 10:30 am on Facebook and in person.
We will poke at our cracks, our vulnerable places, opening our fears to God.