Sunday, February 22, 2004

"On your marks, get ready..."

As I look around the rectory, I cannot tell you how ready for Lent I am. The place is a mess and I have all sorts of paperwork, not to mention my taxes to attend to. Plus a couple of articles to get on. So I need some quiet and time for meditation.

For most people, Lent is an ugly word. It means giving things up and not enjoying one's self until Easter. But I don't look at it that way. Lent is exciting because it speaks of possibility. The word "Lent" comes from a Middle English word for springtime. Outside the front door of the parish church in Alva, tulips or daffodils are beginning to poke green leaves through the soil. They can do this because the bulb has stored its energies and now directs them to the goal, to flower fully and beautifully. I sound like a hippie when I say this, but we can be the same.

When Lent begins, the Word, Jesus Christ, burrows into the heart of the one who hears. "If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts...(Psalm 95)." From there, it seeks to uproot the weeds of vice and the hard rocks of sin by slowing moving its roots and tendrils outward. We give the Word assistance by taking a Garden Weasel to our souls and assisting the uprooting process. You might know this better as "fasting, prayer, and almsgiving." And when we start, we don't realize how in a year, the garden of the soul is really out-of-sorts.

As Lent progresses, we begin to see change and blisters from the work. We are tempted to give up. Then the Church reminds us to be joyful for the end is soon and goal is in reach. The flower is ready to sprout. And then we reach Holy Week. And then I have to see the cost all this change has cost. And how poorly I have responded. And how thankful, He has not forgotten his enemy. He has loved him back into existence, or a fuller existence.

No comments: