In March we begin our Lenten journey.
Lent is the forty days leading from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday.
Lent is a time of introspection and reflection. It’s where we dig deep into our spirituality. It’s a time for confessing our wrongdoings so that we can be forgiven and forgive others.
What I have always felt odd is that while Lent has us go down and inward, the natural world has us go up and outwards. Spring is beginning to push into the world. Sap is starting to run in trees. We gain an hour of light. As we turn towards April, we see snow mixed with rain, the earth begins to warm, the birds are flitting around at the bird feeders, there are new born fawns, coyote kits, puppies and kittens.
This is why I love our theme for Lent, “Rise Up!” We might be needing some time for introspection but like the crocuses that are beginning to bud and break through the snow and frost, so might we need to rise up!
When my Kelsey was in school her jumping horse was named, “Rise Above.” As she jumped over fences and obstacles Rise Above would soar with her on her back. Kelsey named her Rise Above as that was her motto in life. Whatever obstacle was before her she had to summon the courage and inner resources to rise above the challenge. Rise Above would come to a fence and literally rise up!
It’s the perfect insight for Lent. We’re all facing tremendous challenges. There are all the issues around the pandemic. Vaccines – who can get it, when can they get it, and teaching kids online. We all want life to return to normal. But seriously what does normal even look like anymore? In light of the pandemic, we need to Rise Up! We need to rise above!
In addition to the pandemic there are all the usual challenges we face, mortgages, insurance, building a business, raising a family, saving for college, illness, accidents, even death. Life can be a bit intimidating at times. This is why I encourage you to rise up! Look at the obstacles around you and summon your courage and rise above!
Here’s a Lenten discipline I want to encourage you to do. Every morning when you stare at the mirror and brush your teeth, pull out the toothbrush and say, “Rise Up!” and feel life pushing into you from your feet to the top of your head. Brush your hair and say, “Rise above!” and summon the courage to face the day.
At the end of Lent, we come to Easter. This year it’s April 4th. Spring will be blooming. Yes, we’ll have snowstorms, but there will be rain and the world in Colorado will start to green up. On Easter Sunday we will celebrate that God raised Jesus up. Just as in Spring, life pulses in Christ. In a deep spiritual sense, the spirit of Christ lifts us above our challenges.
For the next forty days I want you to dig into the roots of your spirituality. I want you to think about how God moves through your life. Then I want you to rise up and rise above! The challenges we face is nothing compared to the power of God moving through us.
May your Lenten journey be filled with rising to life!