Every year, people wait for March 1st, and then say in great hope of spring when it is usually still very cold outside: “In like a lion, out like a lamb.” In the coming month as the Earth continues its orbit around the Sun, we will tilt as a planetary community towards the Sun (at least in the Northern Hemisphere). We won’t necessarily get any closer to the Sun, but our orbit will tilt us TOWARDS IT, making us warmer by the end of our late winter’s journey.
This year, Lent begins rather late, in fact today, and I’d like to suggest: “In like a sinner, out like a saint,” in hope of what will happen this Lenten season. In the next 40 days of Lent, I hope we will all choose to tilt towards God and grace, as we continue our daily lives, both alone and in community, even if we don’t feel closer to God and grace while it’s happening. I hold this hope not only for myself, but for all those around me: my family, my friends, my students, my colleagues, my neighbors and even I suppose my enemies.
How does this happen? Traditionally we are told to include fasting, almsgiving and prayer. Whatever we do to live these out in our lives, they connect us more closely both to God and neighbor. As we spin around the globe each day of Lent and make our journey that will tilt us towards God and grace, so we will naturally warm up to one another too.
This Lent remember it’s not just about God and me. It’s about all of us together on one planet, leaning into the inexhaustible grace and mercy of God. We are all called to become saints together by our leaning into God and to one another and to the warmth of whatever we need to thaw our frozen hearts to make them ones of flesh again. May we support one another well on this Lenten journey in the coming days!