Lent Week One—Monday
Psalm 41, Deuteronomy 8:11-20, Hebrews 2:11-18, John 2:1-12
At some point in our lives, we fear death. The first time we lose someone to death, someone we love dearly, we learn that life is ever changing, never constant. This can bring many feelings to the surface: fear, depression, anger, etc.
Fifty-five years ago, when I was ten, my parents died in an accident. I had a large family, three siblings, many aunts and uncles, and cousins. We were not left to fend for ourselves, but we were certainly unmoored. At first, I was certain that this was a mistake, and they would be home from their trip on the appointed day. This is sometimes called magical thinking. My emotions and every moment of my life, that first year, were all over the place. It took some time to think of my parents as being in heaven, with our Lord. It was difficult to get away from the concrete human ideas of death, the cemetery, the void. From the very beginning, all my siblings and I were surrounded by loving families who tried to be there for us. Most of these families were strong Christians, who faithfully attended church, many at St. Mark’s, our church home. These were the people who led us out of the valley of fear.
St. Mark’s became the focal point of my inner life, often through the vehicle of EYC, led by the amazing Ron Roberts. He taught us, through a variety of methods (all entertaining and fun) about the love of God, and the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, and everyone. I began to see my parents in God’s loving embrace, on the other side, waiting for us. I began to see that there was a new plan for us, and the path would be through scripture.
In this letter of Paul’s to the Hebrews, he quotes Jesus: “Here am I, and the children God has given me”. Paul goes on to tell us that Jesus has freed all of us who fear death.
I am an adult now, and yet I find myself always going back to those days after my life changed drastically. I go there often, not in a maudlin way, but in a curious fashion, trying to discern the path given me. Lent is an obvious time for reflection, and I am grateful for our 7 am weekday services leading us through. Easter is the highest Holy Day, when our Lord rose and came back to tell us His news. One day I will die too, and I am positive that there is another life for me, another place to serve God. I find comfort in the line, “… the peace which passeth all understanding.”
May you too find peace.