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14 March, 2015

Thoughts in this Third Week of Lent


This year Lent feels harder, somehow. It’s not easy to enter into the sorrow and heaviness of Lent when the sun is shining bright and warm, the flowers and trees are already blooming everywhere we look. Birds are singing and nesting. Folks are mowing their grass and getting pruning and primping done in their yards. The smell of newly laid bark dust around brightly colored blossoms does not remind us of loss and sorrow.

Were our weather like that of many others maybe the cold temperatures and dreary scenery would make it easier to remember that loss and grief precede resurrection and joy. But that is not our environmental scenario so it we find our minds skipping ahead to the hosanna and on to hallelujah, prone to zip right on past the cries for crucifixion and the sobs of sorrow in death.

It isn’t always like this. More often than not it seems the dark of winter is a very slow fade into the light of spring. Illness, loss, looming unknowns, disappointment and fear stand within and all around like dead branches of winter.  Lent is a time to remember we have need of a savior. We ponder our sin and the separation from God we would be doomed to live.

And then! Sunday comes bursting in upon our week like the first sign of blossom and we focus on our Savior Himself.  Celebration rings true from the depths of our being, all within us sighing in utter relief that we are not lost forever. Our God knows our need and He came to save. He is already come.

Celebrating Emmanuel, God with us, reminds us His “withness” is constant even as we ponder our need for Him. He is already here, active and present and living. He knows our every need before we discover it for ourselves. So it feels exactly right that as we go out from our corporate worship gathering we are met with warm sunshine, blue sky, flowering trees and the sweet scents of blossoms. It feels exactly right to hum refrains such as, “up from the grave He arose,” and “He lives!”

It may be Lent all week long, but Sunday celebrations of the One who came to be with us makes it ok to skip on ahead to hosanna and hallelujah. Rejoicing does not negate the sorrow but rather brings it to full completion, placing it in right perspective and making it all worthwhile.

I need a savior, and before I even knew He is already come. Hallelujah, what a Savior!


Christine

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