Dear Edwards Church Community,
I am so grateful for Lent coming later this year, after starting in mid-February last year. It makes the season of Epiphany longer, and we all need more Epiphany!
Astronomical spring, which begins when the earth has travelled far enough around the sun, begins March 21.That may still be a few weeks off, but we can already anticipate its arrival. Snow may fall, but it will melt faster. Climatological spring, which relates to changes in weather, begins earlier on March 1. Since we do not enter Lent until Ash Wednesday on March 3, the beginning ofLent will not be overcast by the cold, grey indifference of February.
The season of preparing for Easter can be demanding on its own, even without dreary weather. The season of preparing for resurrection already asks us to let go of some things, especially those things that stand between us and a closer walk with God, a fuller realization of the resurrection life lived by an Easter people. But really getting ready for Easter requires spending time admitting – to ourselves and God – everything that pulls us aside from making that closer walk, that fuller realization our focus.
The liturgical season of Epiphany now drawing to a close is itself a Christmas present that the liturgical year gives us to ponder between the birth of Jesus and our 40 days with him in the wilderness. Epiphany is the season for noticing the ways God is revealed, takes form, and shows God’s self to us – particularly in and through Jesus, but also through prophets, scripture, nature and even angels.
The poem below, “Song on the Feast of Epiphany” by Christine Rodgers, was written for the opening of the season of Epiphany but is just as fitting for its ending and our approach to Lent. Please read it now.
Too often we resort to going back to the familiar to avoid the risk of the unfamiliar, when setting off into the unknown is just what we need to find that place in our lives where God is waiting to be found. But it requires hearing the voice of an angel or Jesus, who so often greet us with “Do not be afraid,” and then share something they know will scare us! It requires being willing to give up whatever – our skepticism, our fear of not being “in control,” our refusal to acknowledge that we were never really in control – whatever keeps you from that closer walk and that fuller realization of Easter in the here and now.
That closer walk, that fuller realization is our inheritance as Easter people. Won’t you claim it with me?
Yours for the journey,
It will lead
to the place
in need of
in a dream
by the old