March 25, 2013

Lenten Journey: The Gates of Jerusalem

Forty days have passed since we began this journey on Ash Wednesday.  Forty days of living and of praying, which, I hope we have come to see, are not so much two different things as one and the same.

Where were you forty days ago?  What has happened to you in these desert days?  Have you come to understand something new about yourself?  About God?

We've asked some big questions:  Who are you?  What is God's will for you?  Who is Jesus, and what does it mean to call him messiah?

While we might have some new insights, our answers must always be provisional.  There is ever more to learn, always deeper depths to explore.

This week brings us face to face with the most urgent and compelling mysteries of a life of Christian discipleship.  In churches the world over, people will gather -- ardent believers and those who are not so sure.  Together we will watch again as the story unfolds.  There will be feet washed, bread broken and wine poured out.  There will be darkness and the valley of the shadow of death.  And there will be, at last, an empty tomb.

These are the signs that point to the foundation of meaning for all of life and for our lives.  Who, finally, is this God, the God who created us and calls us beloved?  These mysteries of Holy Week -- the washing, the meal, the crucifixion, the resurrection -- are our answer.

It's not the sort of answer we might expect.  It doesn't satisfy the scientific or philosophical mind-set.  It's neither clean nor tidy.  It's more a story than a solution.

Yet, it compels us.  It does so because in our souls, when we allow this story to penetrate, we recognize that it is not the story only of the man Jesus, but our own story as well.

In the end, there is one story only.  It is a story of falling and of being redeemed, a story of dying and living again.  It is a story that is forever repeated and that we know from our quiet center, will never end.


If you have followed this journey at all, whether for a day or forty, whether reading and moving on or more intentionally entering in with prayer, I pray that it has been a source of blessing for you.  I pray too that there have been seeds planted that will bear fruit for the Kingdom of God.

I have been blessed to walk this road with you.

If you would like to review any of the material from these past forty days of devotions, the are gathered here:  Lenten Journey.  I would love to hear how these devotions have served you, if they have, or how you would have liked them to be different.  Please e-mail me with any comments or suggestions at

May God bless you this week, into the Easter season, and all the days of your life.

In the grace and peace of Christ~

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