A Time to Reflect

Lara Schopp Articles, Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

“You are drinking chocolate milk even though you gave up sweets for Lent. You are just forming another bad habit,” my 9 year old granddaughter accused her 11 year old sister. It was clearly a taunt. Isn’t it funny how kids can bicker, even over spiritual practices? I tried to intervene and asked the 9 year old what she gave up for Lent.

“Nothing!” she said with a wee bit of sass.

“But I took something on. It’s ok to add stuff for Lent. I am saying a special prayer every day…” Then she turned pensive, “But I keep forgetting. But that’s ok because most everyone does.”

Suddenly the two girls and I, along with my husband, cracked up laughing. We are all guilty of being human. We all miss the mark of what we imagine as our best selves. Lent is a time to reflect on our brokenness.

Watching the war in Ukraine move into month two is a bitter reminder that humanity is still tragically flawed. After wars and peace accords, after walls built and walls crumbled, after nuclear arms races and nuclear disarmament, after fossil fuel dependence and the rise of renewable energy sources, we still are a human race that goes to war, destroying cities, destroying families, depleting the earth. Lent is a time to reflect on humanity’s failure to live out the peace and love born of God. As a human race, we are broken.

The cross that hangs in our sanctuary is a constant reminder that when God poured divine love into a person named Jesus to show us how to live, that the human community crucified him. So Lent is a time to pause and reflect on our own human shortcomings, or do I say the real word, sin. Lent is a time to confess that we do not always pray, or keep the peace, or remain disciplined, or love our enemies, or care for creation. Lent is a time to say that we need God. We need saving.

I love that scene in the Bible where Peter and the disciples are out on a boat and a storm comes up. Jesus appears to them, walking on water and they cry out in fear. Then Peter begins walking on the water but becomes frightened in the strong wind so as he begins to sink he cries out “Lord, save me!” Even Peter, who becomes the rock upon whom the church is built, needed saving.

Blessings on your journey through these 40 days.