When My Joy saw the header she reminded me that she does not enjoy cemeteries. But I remember that she asked me to ride with her through Indiana’s country to Olive Cemetery where her David is buried. She wanted to water the plants that she and her daughter had planted at their tombstone. To me, the header was meant to remind of lent.
Christians during lent are said to be like life living unseen beneath cold snow waiting for the warmth of spring, preparing to break through warming soil and to burst into bloom and bear fruit. Seeds do it according to the nature of things. But how do Christian’s do it?
Christians do it the way seeds do? They do it naturally. It is natural for Christians to quietly live the beatitudes before blooming into new life.
Death, burial, and resurrection are biblical metaphors. The publican’s prayer of “God be merciful to me a sinner” is an appropriate prayer with which to enter lent. During this lent I recall that I have given up on perfection by legalism for the vulnerability of the Jesus way.
Lent allows us to peruse the graveyards of life. We mark the tombstones of pride and prejudices, selfishness, and vain certainties. With saint Paul we turn pride into dung determined to forget the things that are behind, and press forward to the things that are before.
Through lent we love our enemies more than ever. We reflect on the simple life style of Jesus; the way he cared for the hungry, let little children crawl over him, touched lepers, gave assurance of forgiveness to a woman accused of adultery, opened the eyes of the blind, was stirred to righteous anger toward hypocrites who on the Sabbath day cared more for their animals than for fellow human beings in need of healing. He ate with outcasts simply and taught simply.
Throughout lent we exercise the Jesus life style that we should live every day. Lent is not a celebration, we observe and reflect. We let the Holy Spirit have her way.