Lent is a journey through the wilderness with Christ. Everything is stripped bare in that place (perhaps then giving things up for Lent makes some sense in this context, if they bring us closer to him?) But the Lenten journey does not end in the wilderness, we will pass through that place into Galilee where he will call his disciples. Then we will watch as he heals the sick and speaks words of life.
Eventually the journey will take us to the gates of Jerusalem…and the painful inevitability of what will unfold beyond those gates.
This is what Lent means to me. It is a journey – one that I make every year. I know how the journey will end. But each year I make that journey as if I am a participant in the unfolding drama, experiencing it for the very first time.
I found two quotations which sum up my feelings about Lent (bearing in mind what I said previously about the heart :
If you are going on pilgrimage to find Christ, you will only find him if you carry him in your heart. (Irish Monastic Saying)
Let your feet follow your heart until you find the place of resurrection. (Celtic Christian Saying).
I like the last one especially…because that is where the journey takes us once we are in Jerusalem. It takes us beyond the pain and horror of Calvary. It takes us beyond the grave to the place of resurrection.
(The photograph is from Jonny Baker … “walking into the light”)