Ash Wednesday thoughts

Who was Jesus?

The disciples were convinced they knew the answer. He was the Messiah—come to drive out the Romans and free the Jewish people.

We could ask the same question today—who is Jesus? Each of us has our own answers—our own expectations. But these 40 days of Lent—time of preparation leading us to Easter—may take us on an unexpected journey.

Just as the journey—the final journey—took the disciples into the wilderness, so our Lent journey may take us into dark places…where we come face to face with our own questions and doubts…

It’s a place where extraneous “stuff” is burned away—those barriers we put up…those things we hold onto tightly. It’s a place where we answer the question of what we are willing to lose in order to gain something greater—to be transformed into our full potential.

Sometimes our journey through Lent feels like a lonely one—just as I’m sure the disciples must have felt at times. But we are not alone on it. We walk with those who have walked it before—and we walk it with Christ. 

We might find ourselves wishing it were easier—that we didn’t have to wander through deserts…burned-out places. That’s human nature!

But it’s only as we journey through the dark places that we can truly understand and take part in the joyfulness of the resurrection. So it’s not a trip to be feared—it’s an opportunity!

We will each experience desert times—times of loss…doubt…fear. That’s just part of life. But there will be oases—times of rest and refreshment. And on the other side—something more than we can now imagine.

So let’s begin our journey through Lent—individually and as a body—knowing that we do not walk alone…that even though we may not understand all the “why’s”, even as the disciples did not…it is the only way to get to the new life Easter promises.