It’s the fifth week of Lent–yes fifth. And every year at about this time, I am ready for Lent to be over, like I was ready for winter to be over by the third week.
Lent the time of self-denial and getting rid of things that hamper your growth with God and your growth as a person. It’s a time of self-examination. It’s a time of major pruning in the Christian calendar.
I’m tired of Lent, of confession, and the the tempetures still dropping down into 30s. I’m tired of my Lenten discipline: making time to meditate 20 minutes a day. I am ready for this season to end.
Aah, but there are signs that the physical winter, as well as the winter of the soul are coming to an end. Green is shooting up through what has died.
Life is once again coming from death, and Lent is coming to its end. Sunday is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. We’ll remember and celebrate Jesus’ final entry into Jerusalem while we hold in tension that, while we are singing “Hosanna to the highest!” by Good Friday we will be shouting “Crucify him!” Maundy Thursday is the reminder of the new commandment Jesus gave the disciples the night he washed their feet and shared Passover with them: “Love one another as I have loved you.” And how we as the Body of Christ fail so miserably at that most of the time. Then Good Friday: candles are extinguished as we recount his arrest, trial, and crucifixion. One by one the candles will be extinguished until the church is dark and the Cross is shrouded in black. Even the Paschal light will be carried out. Christ is in the grave. Vigil Saturday: a day of the inbetween. A day of knowing Christ died, but that he also rose. But we must wait. We must wait until Easter morn when the sun breaks through the darkness and the cry rings out: “He is risen!” “He is risen indeed!” Then we can once again shout our hallelujas! I miss hallelujas.
But not yet. Not yet. This is still Lent, but the signs of the Resurrection are all around me.
Winter is gone, and Lent has almost run its course, and new life waits on the other side.