Dear Glen Mar,
As we work our way through February, I’m grateful that it is a month of love, and of course, chocolate! It’s also the month that Lent begins. And…for the record you do NOT have to give up chocolate for Lent. I’m not sure why that even became a “thing.” The two go together, love and Lent. God’s valentine to the world was Jesus, God’s Son. When God wanted to show God’s love for the world in full, God sent Jesus to be God-With-Us. In Jesus we see how we are to live, in service to those on the margins, feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty, helping those who are desperate or in need. In Jesus’ ministry we see how Jesus’ Lordship looks so different from the lordship the world was used to.
As I write this, I’m listening to some Taize music, specifically, “The Kingdom of God is justice and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Come, Lord, and open in us the gates of your kingdom,” based on Romans 14:17. It sounds like a valentine from our Creator to us, in the month of love. When Jesus came proclaiming and embodying the kingdom, the response to this threat was crucifixion. On the cross, Jesus suffered and died, a sacrifice for human sin. On Easter Day, God raised Jesus, conquering the power of sin and death, and everything that would kill us, forever.
During Lent we will listen to God, in our “give me 5” practice of prayer, generosity, worship, scripture study and inviting our friends. We will listen to the words of Jesus from the cross to carry us through this season. Listening to God is sort of like when you misplace your phone-which is on vibrate of course – and then we ask someone to call it. We get really still and quiet. Our ears perk up in all directions in order to be ready to hear that little buzz. We quiet down and yet we are on high alert at the same time….This Lent, we will quiet things down and heighten our attention to the “still, small voice” of God and our own true self.
Come and rest, Come and listen, and I’ll “see” you in worship!