Day 4 of the Lenten Journey
The movie Australia has one of those turn about endings. As the Japanese bomb the port city, the hero thinks the heroine is killed tending communications, the heroine thinks the child is killed in the bombing of the island where mixed race children were taken and the hero and heroine have had a huge fight separating them. Whew. Tension. But of course the hero rescues the children from the island. On the pier they are all reunited in extreme joy – the joy that comes when the obvious death all knew was true, is defeated. The villain is killed and all live happy-ever-after. It is a movie worth watching more than once. We enter the Lenten journey with a story headed to a tragic ending. We, the inheritors of history, know the ending, or believe the ending, but those disciples living the events of the Passion must have been devastated at the cross and overjoyed, if not confused, at the resurrection. We travel with Jesus during lent
- because facing death is how to best appreciate life,
- because we know death is the wages of sin and we are sinners,
- because Jesus will meet us in the Galilees of our life showing us how to live,
- and because we cannot know real joy without knowing real despair.
Happiness is momentary and fleeting. The stimulus check came and we rejoiced and the next day the check came in the mail that used up the money. My son will visit today but must leave this evening to be shipped out. The vaccine shot was given but now new strains are on the horizon and I am still advised to wear my mask. In the book of James we read at the beginning, chapter 1: 3, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when ever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything.”
Having studied the need for the trip, Monday we start Mark 14. Today, though, let us sit back and enjoy a Lenten hymn written by Fanny Crosby and first published in 1869.