Lent is the journey from death – the reality we are born with and live with – to the life found at Easter – where we experience the resurrection and the gospel anew.
Lent is a shattering season because it is a time to reflect on our own brokenness, the pain we cause ourselves others, the grief our rejection causes God. Lent is a season of decay, because on our own, we have little hope. On our own, our story will fade.
Lent is a 40-day journey, and Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of this journey. It is the first night in a 40-day period of reflection, deeply symbolic in our Christian faith.
As we spend 40 days in Lent, we remember the 40 years the Israelites spent wandering from God – attempting over and over again to save themselves, relying on their own strength and understanding.
We remember the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness, facing isolation and temptation.
Unlike the Israelites and unlike us, Jesus, true son and bearer of God's image, remained faithful to God, making a path in the wilderness, becoming the good news of God’s salvation extended as a gift of grace to all creation.
On our own, our spiral continues in a cycle of ashes.
But Jesus invites us onto the path toward true life.
Lent represents a choice: continue in the ruts and patterns we've established or choose to walk in the Way of Jesus.
During this season of Lent at Open Door, we'll continue our journey through Mark's Story of Jesus and, together at our Gathering each week, embark on the 2016 LENT PROJECT, a series of experiments designed to challenge the excess of life's everyday patterns and embrace the true essence of our identity as God's beloved children.
May you enter into this Lenten season with intentional presence, courage, and hope in the God who makes a way in the midst of wilderness.