Shortcut to Easter?

14th March 2024

Our Lent Journey 2024…

Like many of you, my Lenten Journey is a regular undertaking. I have some favourite Lenten reflections which I have used for many years and I still find that God speaks in two ways; He reinforces what I know and experience in my faith and he always opens up new insights of His Kingdom.

This year feels a busier Lenten Journey and includes several different experiences, one of which is ‘The Chosen’. All are great opportunities to share the Lenten Journey with others, to talk about experiences and share how God has been talking to each of us.

Jesus’ first disciples were on a journey as well. We have the ‘benefit’ of knowing how things developed in Jesus’ ministry. We have the Bible, which gives us a record of God’s work and how Jesus was the turning point and an opportunity for everyone to know God through Jesus. We also have a developed theology, a liturgical year with seasons unfolding to help us navigate our spiritual journey.

One disadvantage of our experience and, to some extent, our western culture is that it’s easy to anticipate the end of the Lenten Journey and skip straight on to the joy of Easter, rather than stay in the moment and reflect on what God has done through Jesus.

Let us try to keep an open mind and experience the fullness of what God has for us in this remaining time of Lent, one day at a time. What is he saying to you, to me, to the church?

As we enter the Season of Passiontide, here’s a thought from Richard Rohr…

Passion Sunday: ‘I Love You’

The supreme irony of the whole crucifixion scene is this: He who was everything had everything taken away from him. He who was King of Kings and Lord of Lords was crowned with thorns. All of the humanity to which he was brother was taken away from him and he walked the journey alone. Jesus, the brother to creation, was nailed to the wood of the cross, his arms nailed open. He is the eternal sign of God to humans, yet his arms were nailed open because he said in his life three most dangerous words: ‘I love you’.

When you say, ‘I love you’ you give the other power over you. You give the other power to destroy you and the power to create you. Jesus spoke those words to his creation and we took him at his word.

What happened in the body of Jesus is what humans do eternally: We hate what we should love. But God says, in effect, in the words of Superstar, ‘Hate me! Hit me! Hurt me! Nail me to the tree!’ I love you anyway! That is God’s great act of reconciliation, not just toward individuals but towards all institutions and creation. What hope!

From The Great Themes of Scripture; Richard Rohr, Passion Sunday (Day 150); Radical Grace: Daily Meditations. St. Anthony Messenger Press, Cincinnati Ohio, 1995

Revd Dave Mapes