Let us begin our journey
Each week, we send out an email newsletter at the parish I serve. Here’s what I wrote for the “Thought for the week” in today’s issue.
Today begins the great and holy season of Lent. On this day, the church gathers to remind ourselves that we are desperately in need of God’s redemptive love. We also find hope in God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, offering us true life, radically abundant life.
Our culture doesn’t really understand abundance. We think it comes from big houses or fancy job titles or large salaries. In fact, true abundance comes from the simplest things: faith, hope, and love.
If we want to understand true abundance, we have to face our need of salvation, our own shortcomings. Gratitude and joy only come when we can see that we have received a gift. And we can see that we have received a gift only when we can see what we did not have before it came.
Ash Wednesday is about perspective. We gather to remember that our days on earth our short, but that they are an incredible gift. God hopes we can use our gift well, and God offers us everything we need to do that.
Our theme for Lent this year is “The Journey to God.” We will focus on the journey from alienation, scarcity, and fear toward God, who offers welcome, abundance, and hope. On our journey, we will learn that we do not create a path. We must learn to follow another, our savior Jesus Christ.
Lent is about so much more than giving up chocolate or a favorite television program. Lent is about paring back our illusory abundance so that we can find space for the still, small voice of God to speak the Word of hope.
Start your Lent off the right way. Come to an Ash Wednesday service. Together, let us admit our need of God. Together, let us profess our hope. Together, let us begin our journey.