With full credit to the mad geniuses over at lentmadness.org and yes, to homage C.S. Lewis’ Narnian Mr. Tumnus, hasn’t it felt like that at times this past year?! Always Lent, but never quite Easter! And even as I write this, I am fully cognizant of so many Easter moments of resurrection grace breaking through the gray mantle of pandemic shadow cast over the world this past year. I can hardly believe I began these daily reflections/devotionals/thoughts of the day one year ago. Wow.
But thankfully, God and liturgical calendar seasons wait for no human and no pandemic also. I pray we emerge from this pandemic elongated Lenten season like Lazarus from his tomb, and perhaps like Jesus from His Garden Tomb also, as we move through Lent 2021 to Easter Day and beyond. Our goal here at ECOT is not to heap burning coals of Lenten penitence upon your heads, for we’ve all had plenty enough and more of that. No. Our goal is to grow together, to watch the Good News of Jesus Christ be planted like a bulb of limitless promise in the fertile soul soil of our lives, and take confident root. To watch that bulb shoots break through topsoil, extend, bud and explode into glorious Eastertide blossom. To smell the fragrance of Christian faith at full flower, and hear God pronounce that it is good. Yes. That is Lent and Easter 2021 for us dear readers!
For members of ECOT, your “Lent in a Box” boxes have been hand-delivered or mailed already. I hope you enjoyed as tasty a pancake, King’s cake or gumbo as we did here yesterday for Marti Gras! If not a member of Transfiguration, you may miss the crazy black henna cross tattoos we included in our boxes as we cannot physically impose ashes in person today. But dear readers, any ash self-imposed with a prayer of sincere faith will do just fine! Please join us tonight at 6:00 PM here for our opening Lenten Wednesday teaching. And get those Lentmadness saintly brackets ready for our inaugural vote by website (linked above) as those mad geniuses even convinced an Episcopal church to adapt a beloved hymn for Lentmadness usage! (Hysterical, how ever did they manage to keep a straight face throughout?! Enjoy it here!) And we plant our bulbs included in our boxes, or please find an easy bulb or seed to plant now so we can nurture it together throughout these next 40 days and beyond.
Our wonderful Director of Communications Katie Campbell has graciously agreed to re-date and re-cast these Lenten daily devotionals on our website home page as previously. I hope they serve either as reminders, refreshers or new spiritual ground to explore for anyone wishing to stay with me daily going forward. Because in God’s world of the Kingdom of the Heavens, it’s actually always Easter, never Lent!! Happy Ash Wednesday! Come, Lord Jesus!