Minister’s Note, First Sunday in Lent

posted in: Ministers Notes | 0
The “Mount of Temptation” (c.f. Luke 4:5ff) Photo Credit: Bukvoed, Wadi-Kelt-Dok-301792, CC BY-SA 3.0

I came across this seven-word poem on Thursday: *

Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

Lent is a season to “pay attention“. Those paying attention will notice that there are no banners or flowers in the Sanctuary during Lent. Floral displays are beautiful; they enrich our worship of the God who lovingly created all things. Banners draw our attention to life-giving truths. If these things are good, then why remove them?

It’s a symbol of our commitment to enter a season of simplicity in anticipation of growth and greater beauty. Lent does for our souls what pruning does for a rose bush. We present to the Great Artist a fresh canvas, so to speak. We become the hushed audience eagerly anticipating the orchestra’s first note.

God’s greatest, most beautiful work (His ‘Glory’ as John put’s it) is the cross of Christ. There we see the beauty of God’s love for the whole world. A beauty affirmed forever in the Resurrection. In Lent we “Pay Attention” that we may “Be Astonished” at Easter and equipped to “Tell About” it through Pentecost. May God give us grace to make space in our lives, this Lent, to see, to hear, to sense the beauty of the Lord.

God Bless,

*A poem by Mary Oliver quoted in the “Things Above” podcast – a podcast I heartily commend (