Thursday, 27 March 2014

Lent: A Life Giving Journey

What an amazing spiritual and life giving journey the church offers to lead us through every year in Lent. 

On the first Sunday of Lent we follow Jesus into our own inner wilderness and begin to recognise that there is more to who we are than our ego consciousness. Our ego consciousness is actually our false self. Our truest self, made in the image of God, is so much larger and spacious than our small egos, and is just beneath the surface of our egos, deeper within. To discover our true self (St.Paul reminds us "that is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me") is a spiritual struggle in our inner wilderness, and we have to trust Jesus and know that His Spirit is with us along the way.

On the second Sunday of Lent we are called to follow Jesus up Mount Tabor, the Mount of Transfiguration. This spiritual mountain is also within us. As we mature and make progress in this inner journey, we come to realise more and more that all scriptures are fulfilled in Jesus. Then we begin to see Jesus as he truly is: Christ who is Risen and Alive. This realisation changes us. We share in Christ's suffering, but we also share in Christ's Divine and Risen life. We cannot stay on this holy mountain of Transfiguration, we need to come down to serve the world that is hurting and suffering.

On the third Sunday of Lent we meet Jesus at the well in Samaria. He offers living water to the Samaritan woman. Christ offers fulness of life to all people, regardless of gender, religion, culture, language, your past, your shortcomings, your whatever. As we are challenged and changed in Lent, continuing to die to our small ego self, and surrendering to the larger, deeper Life that is within all human beings (and indeed all of creation in all of the universe and whatever else might be out there), we will find ourselves becoming more compassionate and accepting of ourselves, and with others who struggle. This life giving water is a Divine Spring that is again within us to discover and to tap into. We need to have eyes to see.

On the fourth Sunday of Lent, we hear the story of the blind man who is given his sight. This blind man wants to see, he knows there is more. We need to come to that empty and shallow place in our journey where we ask ourselves “there has to be more to life than this!” We are on a journey from spiritual blindness to spiritual sight. And like the blind man, the more we encounter the living Christ, the more clearly we will see Life in all its fullness. 

In Lent, the Church is leading us on a journey from darkness to light, from hatred to love, from self to other, from death to life, from the Cross to the Resurrection.
The Church, though broken and wounded in its members, is leading us on a journey into Christ. Christ who is ALL. Christ who is IN us. Christ who, when we get our little ego out of the way, Rises from within us. Christ who is our life. 

Let us know our need of Christ. Let us desire His Spirit. Let us live in the Light of His Love.