Okay, this is it. Lent’s over. We’ve been through Palm Sunday and the Holy Week. Then Maundy Thursday came as we went to services (I did too) and hear sermons readying us for the big weekend ahead. Then there was Good Friday. We saw reenactments of Jesus’s carrying his cross in cities around the Christian world. The “Seven Last Words of Christ” was preached in many a church, as Good Friday masses took place.
Then, after the observation of Holy Saturday and watching The Ten Commandments on ABC, we come to Easter Sunday. We put on our Easter finery. Went to sunrise services (something I’ll never understand), and had Easter breakfasts. We heard the “Early Sunday Morning” sermons. We had Easter egg hunts and Easter baskets (give me the chocolate bunnies, thank you). Then we had Easter dinner and dessert (I did indulge)…
Now the Lenten-to Easter season is coming to a close as we all prepare for the week ahead.
But hold up Pilgrim! Let’s stop and pause here, asking ourselves how we spent this past season? Did we take time to be with God? Did we take advantage of intimacy with the Divine? Did we turn our Lenten services and Bible studies for time of self-reflection? Did we learn that those things we hold to in life are really temporary? Did we venture alone with God into the dark places, finding the Center that is God? Did we look at the events that took place during this season: Trayvon Martin, the Toulouse shootings, Shaima Alawadi, Afghanistan, and other events in our world as signposts pointing to justice and reflections of ourselves? Did we learn to fast from the nonsense we’ve allowed in our lives while in the wilderness-giving up those things that hinder our spiritual development? Did we tap into the Divine to ward off the temptations of the ego? Did this Lenten season make a difference in our lives?
Did we also learn that we have Divinely-placed missions in our lives? Did we learn about speaking truth to power? How about developing the faith in God to ward off (and neutralize) the “withered fig trees” that try to cross our paths? Did we realize that meeting Christ unexpectedly can really rock our world? To use what God’s given us to share with others? That entry into God’s King/Queendom is to reach out to the marginalized? How about finding joy and living fully in the midst of our painful days? What about cultivating a loving response to the sins of our world by giving of ourselves as Jesus did, and again, speaking truth to power? What about what to do with the “Now whats?” in our lives. And that Resurrection was-and is-Jesus’s bursting through in our lives so that we too can live, and show him forth in our world?
Or was it business as usual? Did we just while away this time, and go through the motions? Looking back, not seeing any growth or change during this time? Was this a time for us to get religious “Brownie points” by half-heartedly participating in Lenten programs, only to feed our egos? Were we too afraid to look at ourselves honestly and alone; preferring distractions? Did we go to church just to get our “Jesus fixes” that make us feel good? Did we close our eyes to our world, preferring to cocoon ourselves in our religion? Did we just give up the external and superficial, while clinging onto the internal mess that needed to go? And did we cave into ego?
The posts I wrote during the past Lent-to-Easter season were personal insights I was blessed to gain during this time. These weren’t my showing off my ‘ritin skills (smile), but thoughts I knew the Divine laid on my heart. When you let the Spirit inspire you, you’ll be surprised at what you’ll bring forth. Plus, I wanted to bless you my Dear Readers with something I could share. I pray and hope that I’m following the Divine’s call in my life, and that you are being blessed.
Even as you put away your Easter dinner leftovers, and soon the decorations, please note that these days are not just days on a Liturgical calendar. These are also symbols for the phases of that road trip called the Christian journey. God gives us ample opportunities to learn during our lifetimes. So if you realize you could have done more for your trip, and realized you didn’t pack enough clean undies, don’t fret. God will provide Her storehouse of Divine knowledge (and a place to pick up those clean undies) whenever you call Her.
God and our lives are eternal and intertwining. And when both merge into one seamless stream, then that’s what being a Christian-a follower of Jesus the Christ-is all about. (Hmmm…sound like a good topic for a future post).
So where do we go from here? The direction we go is ultimately up to us.