The story of the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-49) takes us on a path from disappointment to amazement, from sorrow to joy, from resignation to reinvigoration:
“That same day, two of the disciples were making their way to a village called Emmaus – which was about seven miles from Jerusalem – discussing all that had happened as they went. While they were discussing these things, Jesus approached and began to walk along with them…”
This is what Lent means to me. The six weeks between Ash Wednesday and Easter are a time to remember Jesus’ journey to the cross and how we might walk that journey with him in our own time and place. Lent is an opportunity to look back at our disappointments—in ourselves, our families, our communities, our world, even in our God—and then look forward to the amazement of what can still come. It is an opportunity to move from the sorrows of our past and toward the joy that lies ahead of us. It is an opportunity to jolt ourselves from complacency and resignation—This is all that life has to offer?—and energize ourselves to create a life and a world worthy of the Kingdom.
None of this transformation can happen without effort and hard work. That is why Lent traditionally is a time of soul-searching, for changing of habits, of letting go “the bad” and taking in “the good.” This is a season of spiritual work. And, as my grandmother used to say, “Many hands make light work!” That is where your faith community comes in. We can do some of this work together. We can bolster one another through the parts that get tough. We can love one another toward the cross!
Peace be with you,