This morning’s collect asks, “Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what your promise.” Some years ago there was a radio broadcast of some children being interviewed about their observance of Lent. They had chosen fasting. One boy explained that he had given up all fried foods. The interviewer inquired as to whether he had felt tempted to break his fast. “Yes,” the boy responded. “How did you deal with that?” “I cheated,” he replied.
What a consoling honesty. Lent is not about being perfect but about trying to be faithful. The most important thing about the boy’s fast was that it spoke to him about his desire to love God. He was not embarrassed to confess he messed up. He was wise enough to understand that messing up is part of living. What was more important was that he was continuing to try.
As we come to the Fifth Sunday in Lent, we have to acknowledge the ways in which it probably hasn’t gone quite as planned. While a number of people have shared with me that they have appreciated the opportunity to live life a little differently this Lent by paying attention to where God is present in their lives, others have been frustrated in their plans. If your Lent has not been as fruitful as you hoped, pick up and try again. We are poised before the telling of the “Great Story”, the experience which has changed so many lives and provided hope when all else seemed lost. God is waiting to pour God’s love into your heart. Come, if you set time aside; ride with him into Jerusalem, share his last meal, stand at the foot of the cross, wait outside the tomb – your greeting of him at the resurrection will be quite different. You don’t have to believe me. You can try it for yourself.
The Rev. Susan N. Eaves