A weekly Rector’s Notes article, February 25, 2019
We prepare to enter into the season of Lent by reflecting on what it means to live into Lent, to practice Lent, to engage with a “Holy Lent,” remembering to prioritize the sacred and even mystical elements of a season that call us to deep reflection, self-examination, and even self-denial. We practice this season of Lent as a means of connecting to a profound tradition of the early church, connecting with those who entered into their final preparation to give their lives over to a new world order, a new path, a new way of love that had been left for us by this teacher, this prophet, named Jesus Christ. And, we practice this season of Lent, every year, because it is vitally important to re-engage with the depth of faith and commitment that this season portends.
We are broken vessels. And yet, into these broken vessels God pours life. The pot might be chipped, cracked, missing a piece or two, and yet the creator sees the potential within us to not simply hold life, but to nurture and grow life. The potting soil is poured into us. The seeds pushed into the very top. The water showers over us. And, the seeds begin to sprout, to take root. Life finds a home within us, and even though we are broken, we create beauty, we create life.
This is what Lent is really about. To remind us that we are broken. To remind us that really we are imperfect vessels, we should’ve been thrown out, and yet, God sees the potential within us (even if we don’t see it within ourselves). It is from our status of brokenness that we are able to create even greater beauty. Beauty and life and success is expected to come out of a vessel that is in perfect condition. To create the same abundance of life out of an imperfect vessel enables us to realize the potential that God sees within us. It also connects us to the reality that our success is intrinsically tied to the presence and trust of God.
As broken vessels we cannot create the beauty of life alone. It takes the eye of the creator to see our potential. The trust of the creator to place the potential for life within us. The grace and forgiveness of the creator to know that we will stumble towards creating the beauty that has been intrinsically placed within us. But, with the guiding hand of our creator, we will be able to create and sustain that life that God has entrusted to us.
This season of Lent we are called to reflect upon our imperfectness. To reflect upon what would lead creation to turn against the creator. Lean into this season of reflection. Allow the worship experiences throughout this season to wash over you and leave you finding a deeper connection to the grace that is on offer from God every day. Connect to the challenges that come before you in this season and learn and grow from them in a humble spirit. Engage in the opportunities to have your faith formed, here and out in the world. Examine the brokenness, the imperfect nature of our utility as vessels, and be amazed once more at how the grace of God uses even us to create and sustain the beauty that is life in this creation.