Lent is a time to travel with Jesus


Lent is a time to travel with Jesus on his journey to the cross. Lent leads us to Holy Week so we think not just of Jesus’ death but upon our own mortality too. This poem by Jan Sutch Pickard puts it well:

Truly dust we are, and to dust we shall return;

And truly yours we are, and to you we shall return.

Help this be a time of turning round and beginning again.

Through the forty days of Lent, help us to follow you

And to find you; in the discipline of praying

And in the drudgery of caring –

In whatever we deny ourselves,

In whatever we set ourselves to learn or do.

Help us to discover you

In our loneliness and in community,

In our emptiness and our fulfilment,

In our sadness and our laughter.

Help us to find you when we ourselves are lost.

Help us to follow you on the journey to Jerusalem

To the waving palms of the people’s hope,

To their rejection, to the cross and empty tomb.

Help us to perceive new growth amid the ashes of old.

Help us, carrying your cross, to be signs of your kingdom.

Lent is a journey of discovery to find God, through facing ourselves “when we ourselves are lost.” It begins with an admission of where we are: “in our emptiness and our fulfilment, in our sadness and our laughter”.

Vulnerability is the attribute Christ shows us on the cross; success, in worldly terms, this is most certainly not. To be successful was the most beguiling of Satan’s temptations and we fall for it time after time – for the best of reasons, and therefore for the very worst.  

So we must be careful how to frame our expectations of ourselves, of one another and our new bishop. Our prayer to God for this next leg of the Diocesan journey needs simply to be this: “Help us, carrying your cross, to be signs of your kingdom.”   

 

+Richard

   

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