Psalm 69 • Jeremiah 5:1-9 • Romans 2:25–3:18 • John 5:30-47
*Elements of this reflection are drawn from each of today’s readings.
It’s Friday; it’s Lent. Late winter has given us glimpses of spring and coming warmth. These glimpses also bring us new ambitions for outdoor activities and a busier family schedule.
We take a moment to breathe. We find in this breath an opportunity to examine our commitment to be quiet, calm and disciplined in Lent. In this moment we breathe fresh air. This brief examine brings us to the shore of the great ocean. The cold water rolls over our tender toes, covered since before Advent.
We are refreshed by the quietly calming place, and something rare begins to take us away — away for just a second, but it feels like a generous moment lifted by the Spirit.
We breathe again.
We release any worry about what has gone undone in these first two weeks of Lent. We’re renewed by what will be done (or possibly more importantly, not done) in these next four weeks of Lent.
Close your eyes and feel the cold salt water rinsing your feet. You’re here and God is with you, rising and falling with the water.
In some moments God is rinsing you in purifying love. In other moments our reality may not be so soothing. We may actually feel more like the drowning Psalmist.
We may feel that the waters have come up to our neck. God may seem absent. In the times of deep water we hear the frightening and painful words of wrath. Fear can swell, anxiety rises, stress abounds.
Simply breathe again.
Now, in this moment, Jesus reminds us to come to him to have life.
— Darren Ball