Hopefully the season of lent has progressed well for all of you. I was just telling a friend that the fasting I was so eager to begin a few weeks ago has all of a sudden become a drag. And that’s the way these things usually go. We’re reminded already of our brokenness, our weakness, our inability to do even a few small things to meet our Father who sees in secret and who rewards us with himself.
As I watch this early, spring-like weather, I am reminded that the name of the season of lent comes from a latin word meaning spring. And it’s not lost on me how similar the changes that are occurring in creation all around me are similar to the progression of my soul through this season. For example, we have two beautiful live oak trees in our front yard. As leaves swirled around in the morning wind, my daughter Dassie said, “look, daddy, it’s fall!” (Even she is confused by this weather.) But the leaves on my live oak trees aren’t falling because the days are getting shorter and colder with less sunlight as is the pattern in the fall. Quite the opposite is happening. The days are getting longer and warmer with increasing sunlight. And these leaves are falling to make room for new leaves that will take their place. For the tree to grow, small parts of it first have to die.
And that’s me this lent. My desire has been to be full of God’s love, full of his presence. I love to revel in it, feel safe in it, and bless others with it. But before I can grow in that, I’m finding other parts of me must die. Before new parts of me can come to life, things that are in the way of the new life must pass away. Pride, anger, and control are being gently pushed out by the ever increasing light of God’s love.
Paul said something similar of life in Christ: “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Behold, the old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor 5:17). And we find God at work in our lives in this way, perceptibly and imperceptibly. Here’s to the next few weeks of following Jesus to the cross, of allowing the Holy Spirit to continue to remake us, and of the love of the Father to filling us and pushing off of us that which is dead to make room for that which is life.
See you Sunday -