The last couple of mornings I have noticed that there is more light when I am leaving for work. I am no longer walking tentatively outside, trying to get my eyes to adjust to the darkness, as I proceed to my car.
Instead I noticed the bushes and the trees and heard the birds as I make my way to get into my automobile. The evidence of Spring arriving is ever more apparent. The Carolina Jasmine in my driveway are announcing the arrival of new life with many yellow blossoms.
I think many people look forward to the warmer weather. The old vestiges of Winter, biting winds, cold temperatures, maybe snow, maybe ice are gone and now comes the time to notice the green of grass. Perhaps, there may be the need to start mowing the grass again.
Lent is this curious time of the Church Year when the Christian Church reflects upon the life of Jesus. Examples of light revealed include the Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan, the Temptation narrative of Jesus being in the desert for forty days, and the account where Jesus advocates and intervenes for a woman who was allegedly caught in adultery.
We have seen recently a lot of continuing corruption go on in government, an endless turnstile of personnel entering and exiting from the Executive branch of government, scandals and rumors of scandals abound. There is lots of activity all of the time;so much so, that people can find themselves feeling unmoored and adrift.
Madeline L’Engle wrote in her book “Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art.”
“Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys,” Publishers rejected her, Christians attacked her … – Washington Posthttps://www.washingtonpost.com/…/publishers-rejected-her-christians-attacked-her-the-d
I heartily endorse this observation. Indeed, it is faith that can give life greater meaning and satisfaction. What can be seen in our present time, however, is that people are pursuing their interests, even their spiritual inquiries, in a more isolative fashion. Instead of meeting with others, some people are drawn to being by themselves and focused on their digital screens searching for that which might bring religious sustenance.
What might portend for someone who is seeking spiritual growth alone? Do they forever find themselves only listening to their own voice?
Christianity, make that Early Christianity, maintained a policy of generally extending hospitality and charity towards others, especially to those who were poor and who were alone and considered to be outcasts by the greater macro society of the Hellenistic-Roman world.
Luci Shaw, a friend of Madeline L ’Engle observed:
“ She was a universalist, believing that all humankind will be invited into heaven.
Many conservative churches draw a circle, and certain people can’t enter the circle because they haven’t been baptized or committed themselves to Christ,” Shaw said. “Jesus drew a circle that was much bigger, and it included everybody. She had a broad sense that we’re all in this together, that God’s love is the power that rules the world.” ( Ibid )
How might the ever- growing presence of light being made manifest illuminate our lives ? Might there be the opportunity for further revelation of God, however known, extended to us through the kindness of others, the encouragement of kind words, the gifts of caring actions?
Can we, in the words of the prophet Micah
“ Do Justice, love mercy, walk humbly with our God ? ( Micah 6:8 )
I hope so.
May it be so.