I love Ash Wednesday and Lent. It is perhaps not my favorite season of the Church year (I’ll take Easter any day), but I love the joy of this season.
I know Lent is not usually considered a joyous season, but there is something freeing and uplifting about standing back at really looking at myself and my community, honestly assessing where I/we are whole and well and where I/we are broken, struggling, and in need of redemption. There is joy in remembering that I am mortal, that I will die, but that through Jesus, I’ve already died and I’m already raised. Lent is a journey of claiming and reclaiming the truth of my/our brokenness and my/our need of healing. It is also about claiming and reclaiming individually and collectively that God is binding up our broken hearts and setting us free.
As we enter Lent together as the Body of Christ, let us examine our lives, standing honestly before God, considering who we are called to be as individuals and as a community, how we are called to live in community, and how we can proclaim God’s love to our world. Let us rightly lament the places where we have failed. Let us remember that we will die. Let us also remember that in Christ we have a new life, a chance for a new start every morning. Let us remember that weeping may spend the night, but joy comes in the morning. Let us have a joyful Lent.