As a kid, I paid a lot of attention to the halfway markers that seemed significant to me. I forget when half-birthdays ceased being a bit thing. End of the first semester meant that, with one more of those, a year would end and I would – hopefully – be given a new designation that would make me feel infinitely older and wiser. The All-Star Game was halfway to a pennant and July 4th started the march to Christmas. You get the idea.
Did you know that we sit today in the middle ground of the season we call Lent? We started with the ashes that reminded us that because we are sinful, and because we are mortal, we place our faith in the One who was neither. Easter is coming, but not too quickly. We still wait for Jesus to turn his face to Jerusalem. For the disciples to once again get it wrong, then right, then wrong again. Triumphal entries must turn into Friday’s dreadful exit, with failures, doubts, grief, and sorrows aplenty.
I’m not sure why, but this year’s Lent has been exceptionally personal for me. I think it has something to do with the two liturgically well-versed ministers that have joined our ranks. It has come along with a keen awareness that if the resurrection is to mean everything to us, we need to feel the weight of what creates the need. Again, those twin enemies of sin and death lay heavy and loom large.
We have three more Sundays of Lent and I will continue the series “Followers” leaning hard into these truths. We are not well but are created and called to be. We are not always right, no matter how convinced we are. And we will make mistakes, some inconsequential and some epic. But our failures don’t have to be fatal any more than our death has to be final.
Twenty days in I am still picking up and putting down my rock every day. So far I am holding firm and it feels good. For I do know that “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. “ And because of the season of Lent, I am more and more aware of why that work is needed.