By Robynn – Follow Robynn on Twitter @RobynnBliss
Along with thousands of Jesus followers around the world, I began my Lenten pilgrimage yesterday. To me, Lent speaks of journeying toward the Cross. I look forward to it every year. We, the church universal, are invited to participate in His sufferings, to enter into a deeper fellowship with Christ. We are asked to approach slowly, deliberately. Holding hands we travel together –weak, broken, tired—toward the Cross, the Burial, the Victory of Resurrection.
It’s a humbling opportunity. It’s a sober season.
But this morning I was reminded that it’s a commute covered in joy and we come out of it completely soaked!
The first century God-followers in Ephesus received a letter from St Paul ages ago. The first part of that letter is dedicated to Paul trying to convince them how very intentional God was about loving them. Paul didn’t want there to be any doubt. He writes sincerely and passionately. He longs for them to understand these things deeply in the quiet corners of their souls.
God….has blessed us with every spiritual blessing…
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us…to be holy and without fault in His eyes.
God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
Just as soon as Paul tells them that God loves them and chose them and wanted them to be in his family so much that he went the extra mile and pursued their adoption. Just as soon as Paul is done with that delicious truth, he launches into another spiritual delicacy!
It seems the Heavenly pitcher is full and God is overflowing. He is so rich in kindness and grace that when God starts ladling it out it spills all over the place. He pours out his glorious grace on us! He showers his kindness on us, with all wisdom and understanding. We are left dripping and drenched; wet through with the kindness and generous grace of God! It’s a messy wonder. It’s a wet moment. We stand soggy and sodden, saturated with it all. Soaked to the bone, vulnerable as our own stuff, now waterlogged and redeemed, washes away. We may feel naked and exposed but for the clinging garments of praise and the clean coat of Christ’s righteousness that now clothes us. The holy ground is now mercy mud.
And it’s that kind of mud that Jesus swoops up and uses to bring sight to the Blind! Now we have eyes to see.
This journey to the cross climbs along the wet earthed path. He has rained down on us his grace and his kindness. Put away your umbrella. There’s no sense in trying to protect yourself. As wild as it weathers, he gently washes our faces, our wounded souls, our broken hearts. Kick off your boots. Splash a little. This wet dirt is a holy tromping ground, a soil suited for planting, a spot for seeds, a space for unending possibilities!
“A truly Eucharistic life means always saying thanks to God, always praising God, and always being more surprised by the abundance of God’s goodness and love. How can such a life not also be a joyful life? It is the truly converted life in which God has become the center of all. There gratitude is joy and joy is gratitude and everything becomes a surprising sign of God’s presence.” (Henri Nouwen, Show me the Way: Readings for Each Day of Lent)