Lent is about us slowing down to read the signs. Today they come to us in scripture.
The dramatic call of Jeremiah is given today, appointing Jeremiah with oversight of the kingdoms. The Lord puts his words in Jeremiah’s mouth and tells him he as the ability to “pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”
With a little Hebrew wordplay, God shows Jeremiah a vision of an almond tree and a boiling pot, and assures us that God not only watches over us, but will follow through with the prophet’s words. It is, in many ways, a foreshadowing. It gives us glimpses of how Jeremiah’s ministry will be.
We begin reading Paul’s Letter to the Romans as well. He begins with “guns a blazin’”. Paul lets us know the issue at hand just in introducing himself, giving us glimpses of the summary of the gospel and the reasons for his being so upset with the Corinthians.
Sometimes my Lenten walk has felt very much like these passages – with too much going on. Often I have felt swallowed up in all the Lenten disciplines, programs, and creative ministries at First Presbyterian. It can be hard to say “No” to certain things in order to say YES to God and stay spiritually in tune with God. We must wait patiently and find the time to prioritize God in our relationships.
And that is what Lent is about isn’t it? The world sometimes seems all too eager. But we Christians wait. We take things slowly and deliberately – continually focusing on the cross and what it has done and is doing for us.
Have you ever driven down the road too fast only to think “Now, what did that sign back there say?” Lent is about us slowing down to read the signs.