It might be hard, and it might even be scary to confront our burdens and our sins, but remember that Lent always leads us to Easter: the promise of new life overcoming death, hope driving out despair, and God’s grace and liberating love shared abundantly.
Jesus spoke about it, and spirituals sings about it: right now, things may be lousy. But with God at our side, we can lift our gaze to see a future that is different from and better than our reality today. We will not deny what is painful, but we look with hope to a better day.
An annual tradition on the First Sunday of Lent, Pastor Andrea invites folks forward to construct a cross out of shells, rocks, and other symbols of burdens they seek to lay down or challenges they seek to confront during Lent. (Romans 7:14-25a)
Community is difficult and messy. And sometimes WE are difficult and a mess. We get angry and we stay away from church for a Sunday or two or eight or twenty. We get our feelings hurt and we hurt other people’s feelings too. We do our best but we are still a mess sometimes. But I like to say we are a perfect mess. Because in and through the wounds and aggravations, the little fights and the temporary set-backs, we carry on, with grace and with good hearts.