Dear Friends in Christ,
The season of Lent is here once again here. Lent is the forty days of preparation leading up to Easter. This year it began on Wednesday, February 17th. Lent looks towards God's act in the cross and the resurrection. It is an opportunity to move within the shadows of the Cross and let our hearts be renewed by God's love and forgiveness. The 40 days of Lent offer us an opportunity for a period of intentional, focused engagement with God, and an opportunity for us take a personal and spiritual inventory.
Our worship series this year is “Holy Vessels.” Each week focuses on a different healing story from the gospels, and the different ways each of us, and our world, may need to experience healing. Each of us is created a precious and holy vessel of embodied love. Yet, we have been through a harrowing time since last Lent; a time that has shattered our sense of wholeness–body, mind, and spirit–like a glass vessel fractured into pieces. Still, our faith affirms that God can gather up our broken pieces and transform our brokenness into beauty.
One symbol of God’s power to transform brokenness into beauty is sea glass, or beach glass. An unknown author has said this about the glass fragments that are collected on various shores:
“Ordinary pieces of tableware or beer or soda bottles are flung into the ocean. Years pass, or decades, and then one day, there it is upon the shore: a small shard from one of those long ago discarded objects. Shifting currents have rounded its edges; abrasion has polished its surface; exposure to the sun has altered its hue. And so, when we happen upon it, here amidst the shells and seaweed, we can’t help but laugh with joy at what seems a miracle: this ordinary fragment of silica that time and adversity have transformed into something beautiful.”
Time and adversity… making something beautiful out of that which, once seen as ordinary and broken, is now considered a transformed and precious piece. This is the journey we undertake this season of Lent. Jesus attended to those considered ordinary, broken, even those deemed unworthy.
Each of you should have received a Lenten devotional book to go along with our worship series. So, during the days that lie ahead, I invite you to take a few moments each day to use that devotional material examine the broken places in your life that might need Christ’s healing touch. And when you find them, to look at them with the same eyes of compassion that God sees them, and then offer them up to God’s healing grace, remembering that no matter what, Jesus is both the healer and the lover of our souls.
May you have a blessed and holy Lent.