Lenten Reflections: First Sunday of Lent

The Journey Begins

For the past few weeks in our Christian Education class we have been viewing and discussing the DVD entitled 24 Hours That Changed the World.  This DVD was developed by Rev. Adam Hamilton, Senior Pastor of the Church of the Resurrection in Kansas. The DVD explores and examines the last 24 hours of Jesus’ life.  The series begins with the time that Jesus leaves the Upper Room in Jerusalem with His disciples and goes to the Garden of Gethsemane.  It moves to the time that that He is crucified and buried on Good Friday.  The series ends as we travel with Jesus beyond death to resurrection.

Last week our class viewed the segment of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.  It is a very human and very humbling depiction of Jesus struggling in prayer.  We see him grieved and distressed, finally surrendering himself totally to the will of God.  The cup of blessing which he has just shared in the Upper Room with his disciples stands in stark contrast to the cup which he wants to pass from him.

The picture of Jesus in the Garden was on my mind during our Ash Wednesday service.  Like Jesus, I know what it is to be ‘sorrowful and troubled’.  I have known loneliness and betrayal.  Sometimes I have been the party that is hurt, sometimes I have been the perpetrator.  As I placed the sign of the cross on foreheads with ashes, I did this remembering the human condition that is at once prone to sin and yet drawn to grace.

The season of Lent heightens our awareness of the human condition.  It is a season of self-examination through which we are invited to enter a deeper intimacy with Jesus.  We are invited to think and reach past our own self-centered desires and to discover, or perhaps, rediscover, the depth of joy that comes from serving others.

During this season I am taking time each day to ponder what it is that holds my attention and commands my time.  Will I find myself distracted or tempted by things that seem good but do not come from God and do not result in a deeper relationship with God?

What about you?  Are you disturbed by the restless uneasiness in your heart? Are you devoted to those things that grant temporary satisfaction but ultimately fail to meet your heart’s deepest longing?  If you are, then join me in a Lenten journey that leads away from self-centeredness and to the path of repentance and renewal, promise and possibility.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *