As I reflect on my Lenten journey, I am often drawn to this promise given by Jesus who said to his disciples, “In a little while you will not see me any more, and then a little while later you will see me” (Jn. 16:16). He goes to explain that there will be times of sadness and gladness, suffering and joy, and yet in it all God will be there; ever-faithful and ever-present.
Lent is a time of waiting. Because some days will be easier than others, how we wait is equally as important as what we are waiting for. We can use our time waiting passively, believing that Easter is just around the corner. Or we can wait actively, knowing that Easter has already come.
In choosing to follow Christ there is no room for passive waiting any more than there is room for passive faith. As Jesus might say, there’s no time to bury the dead, or say good-bye to our family (Mt. 8:18-22). There is work to be done. So in Christ’s name we are called to live out our faith knowing today is the day that we will see him again.
Just as his disciples walked with Jesus towards the cross, we too are walking with Christ right here, right now. Even as we struggle to keep our Lenten fast, we hold fast to the promise that Christ is always with us, because Christ is within us. The resurrection has already happened, and it continues to do so every day through us.
Lent is an invitation to celebrate each day as if it were Easter. It is a time to actively love our neighbors, uphold justice, forgive our enemies, and live fully and faithfully to the good news of Jesus Christ. By recognizing in others the same Spirit that is within us, we are able to live out our lives in accord with the One who has already come, died and has been raised.
Prayer: Lord God, be ever present in my life so that I may be your visible presence to those who seek your love, mercy and grace through Christ Jesus. Amen.
*First published in Lenten Devotional 2018, for the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches