Today begins the 2023 Lenten Season which will take us through a time of reflection and meditation on what our Lord did for our salvation. Ash Wednesday 2023 will be a little different because the weather has made its own pronouncement. Many faith communities in this area have either postponed or canceled worship services for this evening, while others are making the service available online.
I hope that, whether you planned to attend a service or not, you spend time today in prayer and preparation for the journey of these 40 days to celebrate Jesus’ dedication to our welfare and our redemption.
There are far too many ways to share the ways Jesus touched and transformed lives. Even if we took one day for each parable and each miracle, as well as the transformative conversations he had with the disciples, and leaders of Israel, it would take more than the time allotted for the season of Lent.
And yet, that is what we are invited to do. We are asked to consider how a conversation with a Samaritan woman at a well, or the inclusion of a tax collector and fishermen as disciples forever changed how we think about and relate to one another.
Sometimes I wish there was a return to someone’s life to learn what happened after they met Jesus. What happened with Jairus’ daughter or even the hemorrhaging woman? Did either woman become part of a larger community of disciples spreading the good news of Jesus’ time with us?
Did the Centurion, whose slave was healed, become a follower of Jesus? Did he request another tour of duty in Israel because of what Jesus did, or did he go somewhere else, sharing the story of healing and restoration for his slave and possibly himself?
And the man who was paralyzed. What was it like the first time he broke bread with the friends who carried him to where Jesus was speaking, lowered him through the roof, and then walked with him back to their home? What did the family members of the 10 lepers do when their loved ones returned home, free of the disease that had separated them?
Are there other passages that you wish would have one or two more verses? In your time of reflection and meditation during Lent, I invite you to consider what a transformed life might be like, for these persons in the Bible. May we also continue to relive and celebrate how Jesus has changed and continues to change who we are every day. And Amen.