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So what is this Lent?

February 21, 2021

Robert and Georgie Girl, 1968

Genesis 9: 8-17 | Psalm 25: 1-9 | 1 Peter 3: 18-22 | Mark 1: 9-15

 

Lent for me is a time of reflection. Some days are filled with joy. Others, with despair.

We humans have many mentors to help in our search for joy. To help us avoid despair.

 

Mr. Rogers teaches us to care for others.

Bishop Tutu explains the concept of ubuntu, i.e. “I am, because you are.”

Stevie Wonder helps us celebrate life and love through music.

My childhood dog Georgie Girl? Unconditional love.

 

Oh, and how about that Jesus guy…

 

The first Sunday of Lent provides us readings in a variety of voices: God, mankind (me), Peter, and Mark.


Genesis 9: 8-17

The postlude to “The Great Flood” finds Noah joining in “a covenant” with God. After cleansing Earth, He enters into an agreement with man and all living creatures. He will protect humanity, and in return asks mankind to keep His laws and be faithful to Him. Seems doable. Once I understand how God protects me.

Pslam 25: 1-9

This reading pivots from God speaking… to my affirmation in response:

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
my God, I put my trust in you; *
let me not be humiliated,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.

What a beautiful verse I offer to God in thanks for the joy and love that is my reward for being humble, trusting, and faithful. Gifts from God. Perhaps God’s protection is within my grasp as long as I follow His laws.

1 Peter 3: 18-22

Peter shifts our attention to the coming death of Christ, the final chapter in Lent. Jesus was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit. What do I make of this? A story that has been told for centuries. Frankly, I am not sure after six decades of life I am able to answer this question. I get the death thing. That is the one constant for all humans. But made alive in spirit? My best hunch is that my post-death “spirit” is alive in the hearts and memories of all those who follow me and that I have touched in some way.

Mark 1: 9-15

And Mark ends today‘s readings with a visit to Jesus from a heavenly Spirit, temptations by Satan in the wilderness, followed by “Jesus proclaiming the good news of God”. This Jesus guy is pretty complicated. As is his story.

So, how about that Jesus guy? For me, I think he is Mr. Rogers, Bishop Tutu, Stevie Wonder, and Georgie Girl all wrapped up in one!

Rob Walsh