Community of Lent

by Dr. Brooks

Lent provides a spiritual geography for our travel to resurrection. It is a practice as simple as one foot in front of the other. It is profound as God’s boundless love, like a horizon of sunrise on our soul.

For some, Lenten reflections bring quests for mercy and forgiveness. Lent can be a painful time of sacrifice. Giving up habits to find freedom.

In this season of pandemic, I hope more for you during Lent. I hope that we share the journey such that we are assured God and our faithful friends walk with us. What a wonderful way to approach the cross of Christ.

As a pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago, the Cruz de Ferro (Iron Cross) provides a spiritual opportunity. Pilgrims carry a rock for days and weeks. Traditionally, the rock represents burdens and brokenness to be left at the foot of the cross.

Cruz de Ferro

As the day approached when we would reach the iron cross, I had not thought if I would approach alone or with my pilgrim friends. Like many spiritual exercises, I assumed it would be a private moment for me to pour out my pain and leave my rock.

Mi camigos

To my delight, I found myself walking the approach with two of my closest pilgrim friends. We gave each other space to do what we needed. Yet, we eagerly shared the moment. From the pre-dawn ascent to walking away toward the rest of the Way, we were community.

Brian McLaren describes Lent with another angle of the community experience. He writes, “These special holidays give rise to various liturgical calendars that suggest we should mark our days not only with the cycles of the moon and seasons, but also with occasions to tell our children the stories of our faith community’s past so that this past will have a future, and so that our ancient way and its practices will be rediscovered and renewed every year.”1

Among our Lenten disciplines, the prayers and sacrifices, may we take time to tell stories. Let us share the stories of why we worship and service, fellowship and study. Especially the stories of finding God in our practices.

God bless you this season and always!

1Brian D. McLaren, Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices