Ashes…

Today begins Lent for many among us…a season embodying both sorry and joy…anticipation, rebirth. We know that death comes first. We know that joy will follow.

How different it is for us…for the ones close to Christ at that time it came as a terrible shock, they were STRICKEN with the grief of it all. We get to know how it ends, you see. There’s something to that, getting to know how it ends. Unlike the followers of Christ two centuries ago, when He walked with human feet on the dusty road alongside them, we get to know that He will be betrayed with a kiss. We get to know that He will be arrested and tried. He will be beaten and tortured. He will be nailed to a tree and hang there until finally His body surrenders. He will be laid in a tomb, His body wrapped with loving care by the hands of people who loved Him so deeply, who depended upon Him for every need, every affirmation.

We know all of this…we get to know that the story did not end there. This is the Good News…we get to know that. But it’s important that we don’t forget the sacrifice of Jesus. It’s important that we don’t skip over the grief to get to the joy. We know the joy is there, it’s available to us. This season, though, this 40 days, affords us a chance to sit in the grief, to embrace the sacrifice made for US, for all of US.  It allows us to enter into that sacrifice, to make ourselves part of the story, not observers but participants. We are the people of the story.

So this season, even if Lent isn’t on your religious radar, I’d invite you to enter into this part of the story…enter in.

breathe that.

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