This coming week will bring us once again to the fasting season of Lent. It can be a season we write off as insignificant or allow other, more immediate priorities to overshadow it, but we do so to our own detriment. Journeying with Jesus to Jerusalem and the cross shapes our understanding of Jesus’s sacrifice and molds our faith in ways that transform us long after the season itself has passed.
So I urge you to let Lent transform you this year. Journey through the story again. Take the time to fast in a way that is meaningful to you. Take the time to deepen your faith in a way that knocks you off balance a little, because off-balance is a state in which we can be most effectively inspired.
Personally, I find myself considerably off-balanced after the tumult of General Conference. I think I may deeply need the Lenten season to quiet the anger and frustration I’m feeling and turn lament into something catalytic, something that moves like the seasons of Lent and Easter and Pentecost: from ashes to flame.
Perhaps that is exactly the image we need following General Conference. Perhaps the Spirit of God, that bright flame, will rebirth us on the wings of a new bird, not only alighting like flame upon us but taking us with her to light the world and finally consume the ashen, shed-skin waste that our world seems so bent upon worshiping.
Perhaps the new creature emerging from General Conference is a dove of Spirit flame.
I need your help dreaming, friends. I need your help focusing on God’s future, not on my frustration and anger. I need the transformation of Lent this year, more than ever before, and I need you to journey with me. Only as we come together will we live into the promise of God’s Church, the joy of the reconciling Family of God that brings all God’s children together through all history and all creation.
I need you. The Church of Jesus Christ needs you.
Let the Kin-dom of God begin.