To experience an emotion is not bad. Emotions are the warning lights on our dashboard. Just like a car, when the fuel light comes on you become aware that minor service may be needed. When the oil light comes on you may know a slightly more in depth service is needed. Becoming aware of our emotions is crucial. If we ignore them, like someone could ignore a fuel light, we will end up on the side of the road broken down.
Lent is long enough to allow for missteps and resetting. But the hope is always to see Christ, to hear him: to hold this space and to be held by it. In the void, when my western, noisy Christianity seeks for detailed direction, control and safety, I see myself again standing at the threshold, refusing to go further into the desert.
This is a profound mystery. You’ve got questions? So often, it feels like Jesus doesn’t have answers. And when those answers are hard to come by, don’t panic. Listen. Be. Ask. And know that instead of answers, He offers something better than that. In the middle of our pain, doubt, and chaos, Jesus enters in and offers us what we really need, what no half-baked “answer” can duplicate: Presence.
The act of reflecting gives us time and space to hold up our life situations to the light of the Holy Spirit and scripture. In reflection we sift through experience to see the truth. In reflection we learn to articulate the truths we discover in our experiences. Like the disciples, we can step away from the crowds with Jesus and ask, “What did all that mean?”
Lent is a season within the liturgical calendar lasting forty days (not including Sundays) wherein believers usually give up certain foods (fasting), and focus on prayer, repentance, giving and charity, and self-sacrifice among other things.
The Invitation of Lent series will focus on the different things we are invited to experience during this time of Lent. We will look at the various aspects and approaches to repentance such as the invitation to reflect, to grieve, to pause. And hopefully we will show up to the familiar days of Good Friday and Easter more deeply formed and ready to participate in Christ’s work on the cross as well as his victory over death.