Lenten Reflection for 3/23 – Second Half Hope

Today’s Readings: Jeremiah 23:1-8Psalm 102John 6:52-59

Here we are past the half-way point in Lent.   By now, if we’ve giving something up, the reality has hit us squarely in the face. We are feeling the pains of going without our favorite vice or sweet.  We started the season with the words “Remember you are but dust and to dust you shall return.”  Boy, some days we have definitely felt that way, and these dark clouds and rain surely don’t help.  We are feeling the sense of doom, gloom, death and despair that we often associate with Lent, setting the perfect stage for repentance.

However, with all this rain and warm weather, we can’t help but to notice that winter is over and Spring is peeking its head out of the ground.  The trees are starting to bloom; the Texas live oaks are pushing the dead leaves away and springing forth with new greens.  Every trip to the grocery store reminds us that Easter is soon to be here. The gloom of Lent is starting to give way to something we can’t put our finger on… could it be, Hope?

Both today’s Psalm and the prophet Jeremiah tells us the appointed time is coming, the days are surely coming, that the Lord will bring his people back into the fold, where they will be fruitful and multiply.  Doesn’t sound very “Lenten”, or is it?  Is the message of Lent really that of Hope, of new life?  In today’s gospel of John, Jesus says, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood, abide in me… so whoever [does this] will live because of me. Where do we see new life at St. Martin’s?  Where is there room for new seeds to take hold and flourish? Where is God giving us fresh opportunities in Fort Worth and the surrounding communities? Is the true burden of Lent the anticipation, the waiting?  Knowing that not now, but soon, both in Keller and greater Fort Worth, Jesus will turn the phrase “you are but dust” into “you shall have life, and you shall have it abundantly!”

Author: Richard Cabes

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