Lent is a season of ever-increasing light. It begins in darkness, with ashes. How dour? Often when I talk about Lent as a “season of austerity or suffering” I get blank stares back as if people are asking, “why would we ever choose austerity of our own volition?” This past year has been just that, a whole year of doing without. We have all known our own part of dark, dour, austerity, this past year. Pain, fear, stress and isolation all have a compounding effect. This past year has felt like a dark night.
This year Lent feels different, somehow more relevant. I realize how I much I need the hope lent offers: more light, renewal, and rebirth (think baby lambs jumping in a warm, green pasture). I know many of us feel tired after this long night, but I am also hopeful as I look to the eastern sky for the first hint of the sunrise. As I think back over the year, I find joy in the relationships that have grown (even on zoom), I appreciate the creative ideas and adaptability that has emerged in our CUC community. I realize we will never go back to the way life that was pre-COVID, but I am ready for what lies ahead. In all of this, God is with us…a rising, blazing sun, radiating light and energy and inviting all us to warm up, rise up and live. What is ahead? I don’t know… but this Lent, I’m keeping my eyes on the rising sun.