The last of the dark clouds drifted across the rising sun, just over the trees topping the hills. Beams of light flooded the room as the sun, at last, broke through and shone freely.
Such is the season of Lent.
In this Holy Week, as I reflect on the last days of Jesus’ earthly life, I am struck by the symbolism God has placed in all of nature.
In this season of life, as naiveté is stripped away and the world groans in longing for His return, I am struck by my need to remember that my Jesus is acquainted with sorrows…accompanied by grief. He sits with me in compassion and understanding because He knows.
He has suffered and sits with us in our suffering.
I have lit the Lenten candles each morning, watching as each day the new candle adds light. I look to the Light as I pray before the candlelight, settled in my dependency, determined to keep walking forward. I dwell, fascinated by the curling smoke as the candles are extinquished one-by-one, for a few long moments. I sit in holy grief, knowing my sin nailed my savior to that cross, yet sit in hope, knowing that he won.
And I am free.
Lent, unlike Advent (which is filled with child-like anticipation of the Newborn King), is heavy. It is the knowing of my faults, the realization that His suffering should have been mine. It is taking the time to sit in the weight of my sin while knowing, with each passing day, that my sin has been nailed to the cross and I bear it no more.
Praise the Lord, Oh my soul.
Lent is stepping into the suffering of Jesus, because He stepped into mine. It is identifying with the cross, allowing Him to bear mine. It is looking ahead, to the day when He stood, filled with breath and life, and walked out of that grave and took me right along with Him.
Lent is hope. It is promise. It is Grace.
It is the golden ribbon of morning puddled along the far black horizon, taking shape as Hope dawns faithfully day after day.
He is risen. He is risen, indeed.