A Blessed Lent -
LH told me he heard the trill of the red-winged blackbird in the meadow behind our house. Although, he didn't see them, he heard them. They have a rather distinctive call. The first sign of spring around these here parts is not the robin, which often spends the winter here, but the red-winged blackbird.
The crocuses are pushing up as are the hyacinths, daffodils and tulips, but the crocuses will bloom first.
Lent begins this year not in the tight-fisted clasp of winter but in the opening hand of spring, ready to receive new life.
Most in our culture and society pay no attention to this sacred season of Lent. It comes and goes without much notice, except for the bunnies, baskets and bags of jelly beans and candy.
I find I need Lent, to offer up the deadness, finiteness of my life, to empty out the accumulated stuff I gather in a year within me and to be more intentional in prayer, in reading scripture, in time with my Lord. I need to be drawn into the passion of Christ and to be touched once again by a sacrifice of love so great, that I am here, alive, and counted as one who is loved and belongs to God, no matter how flawed I am or how grimed with sin I become. It was for me, my Lord suffered and died. It was for you he bore such pain and death. It was for the whole of creation, yes, even the ones who walk through these Lenten weeks oblivious, that the Beloved One emptied himself on the cross and endured the anguish he did, so that you would someday know how very beloved you are.
Wake up world! Wake up people! Leave your shallowness and superficial living behind and come, come and journey these Lenten to the ugly, awful cross and know a love so amazing and astounding that you will be made whole and all that you seek in the trivialities in life, but which never satisfy, will fill you to overflowing and you will want no more.
Blessed be this season of Lent to you.
I will eventually make it home to hear the trill of the red-winged blackbird and to crocuses blooming, and the cup of my being will overflow for the grace and gift of this blessed and glorious holy season.