The Dean’s Corner
Do We Really Need Lent Right Now?
Scripture is filled with stories of stepping away from the noise of the world to encounter God. Moses climbs Mt. Sinai to commune with God and receive the Law; Jesus goes into the wilderness to be tested, to the water’s edge to be baptized and up the mountain to be transfigured. Next week we begin Lent, a season of intentionally stepping away from the noise of the world in order to better listen for God.
But amid the pain and loneliness of the pandemic, what good is a further season apart? Why consider mortality and repentance when our deepest desire is to again feel safe and secure, and to embrace friends and loved ones?
Of course, the reality of our modern lives is that tumult and noise follow us into our homes, and social distance hardly equates to inner peace. But to me Lent has always spoken of a profound reality that is beneath and beyond the noise machine that otherwise dominates our energy. In the midst of chaos and stress, Lent has always reminded me of the giftedness of presence that reveals itself when I commit to being a bit less in this world and when I listen a bit closer for grace.
That need for strength and nourishment is just as strong now as it has ever been. Even in the midst of a pandemic, I crave a moment of renewal and return. I invite you to share this with me in the coming weeks.