World history swirls about us as we begin Lent today. I have the sense that what has been happening over the past few years, particularly over the past week, will define the world that the next generation of leaders will manage. We are watching the atrocities in the Ukraine with horror. We are facing the accelerating rate of Climate Change, And the pandemic, though waning, is still part of our lives. It is easy enough to despair.
And yet, we are people of hope. We believe in the victory of life over death. We believe in a God who has come to save us all. We long for the full revelation of the new Creation that the prophets longed for, knowing that Jesus’ resurrection began its coming into the World.
In the context of our deep concern about today and our unshakeable hope for tomorrow, this Lent is like all other Lenten seasons and somehow different. I feel a purposefulness about my Lenten observance today, and a profound desire for Easter. I imagine that it’s the same for many if not all of you too.
Every year we call on people to keep a Holy Lent. This year I encourage you to keep a purpose in mind for your Lenten days. For me, that purpose is to pray for peace and end to war and oppression in all the World.
These next forty days of spiritual fast and discipline will, for me, be done with an intention of prayers for peace and an end to violence. I invite you to join me in that intention, offering up your Lenten pilgrimage to that particular prayer. I’m sure your clergy and lay leaders can help you with resources for season.
Lord Jesus, let your love vanquish all that challenge your reign as the Prince of Peace. Let war end in our time. Let us find our unity in you and in service to your Creation. Remake our hearts in Lent this year so that we may be a sign to others that life and joy will triumph over despair. In your name we pray.