“He took our infirmities and bore our diseases.” Matthew 8:17b
The other day I had the opportunity to walk along the shores of Lake Michigan. Walking onthe shores of Lake Michigan in the winter is a completely different exercise of faith than inthe summer when the warm winds caress your face. Winter shoreline walking has a wholedifferent beauty and possibilities than summer walking. If you come upon the conditionsjust right, you may catch the beauty of ice shards like the above photo. When the sunshines on them just right and when you listen carefully to the tinkling of the shards as thebody of water continues to swell underneath, it is mystical and magical. God speaksthrough creation in ways of poetry and prose.
It is hard for me to imagine that we will soon be coming into a full year of the Coronaviruspandemic that has so greatly altered our individual and collective lives. As we come uponthis year anniversary, of when we began to move our ministries online, we enter the timeof Lent. It has been a harrowing and grief filled time since last Lent and, in many ways, ithas shattered our sense of wholeness, much like the ice upon a moving body of water. Weoften feel fractured in body, mind and spirit like a sheet of ice that was once whole beforethe waves moved. As we embrace this season of Lent, we enter a “season of recovery” forour physical, communal, mental, intellectual and environmental health. Our Scriptures willbe the healing narratives of Jesus that embody the divine solidarity with human sufferingand remind us that are faith journey calls us to make something beautiful from that whichseems broken. Throughout Lent, we will be inviting community leaders to a time ofsharing and reflecting upon our community life. The ice upon the waters, the beach glassthat can be found upon the sand is symbol of a transformative process that is always atwork. We are Holy Vessels for God, with the work of the Holy Spirit we can be prepared forevery good work. Let us prepare ourselves during Lent to receive the new life found in thepromise of Easter resurrection.