I really don't like Lent. I am not a night person, so those Lenten services are tough. And I don’t like to go to that really sad place of Jesus dying. Can’t we just fast-forward to the resurrection? Do I have to think about the sweating blood in the garden, the blood dripping from the crown of thorns, Mary and the women watching it all happen?
Watching the news, I see sorrowful stories: shootings of children and adults in schools, in neighborhoods and other places; of human loss. I haven’t suffered that kind of violent loss, but I am brought to tears. There is no doubt that everyone who loved these children and adults, who experienced those tragedies, suffers.
When Jesus “set his face toward Jerusalem,” he walked with a determination to die. He was a victim of violence, he felt the pain and saw his family grieve. He lived and died in a way that people who have lost loved ones to violence can understand. Jesus knows their pain.
Each year, our pastor encourages us to “observe” Lent. That is the least that I can do this year: honor the suffering of Christ and grieve with those who suffer. I will spend these six weeks with Jesus so he can teach me more about suffering today and resurrection tomorrow.
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