Lent 2020 – Living in this Moment of God’s Unchanging Love

February 23, 2020

This Wednesday we begin an adventure, a journey and an opportunity with eternal possibilities; we begin Lent.   In this season, like no other, we are invited to live in the present moment, building up an awareness of how God’s unchanging love impacts our lives.   From a young age, when we were little we were told stories and most began with the words, “ONCE UPON A TIME”.  Our imaginations were full of possibilities when bedtime stories invited us to be creative, to find limitless possibilities and become entranced of how love and goodness conquered all things.  As we begin to enter into Lent, we are invited to visit the great places of Scripture and the awesome places which find us captivated by the love of God that shatters barriers and overcomes obstacles.  We will visit the great covenant stories of the past and be invited to live them now in the present moment.

In our time, living in 2020, we experience the fast and furious pace of life and by the hour things change.  The news cycle changes as new facts are communicated with rapid speed on the internet and through social media.  We are all about our latest text or Snap Chat; Facebook may even seem slow.  So at this moment part of the equation is very simple for us.  The challenge lies in getting in touch with that which is unchanging.  To do this we must find a depth that goes beyond the moment, yet is present in it.  As for me, to get in touch with the unchanging, I have to look at what has changed.  I have to explore what events changed my life.  To know unchanging, I must look at what has changed.  To look at this moment, I must see what was once upon a time and how that time is far from my imagination.

Lent is meant to be hard work.  What is most unchanging and yet also changed the world is God sending His only begotten Son to us and how Jesus took up His cross, died for our sins and rose from the dead.  That once upon a time is still now and ever will be unchanging.  What we choose to do this Lent should be personal, yet grounding in faith.  It is to take responsibility for our lives and enter into a new and ever faith filled relationship with the unchanging love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  These days ahead are critical.  We must live in this moment where lines are blurred, morality is fleeting and truth is hard to find.  But despite all of that, we rise to a new place where the unchanging, unshakable love of God so prevails in our lives that we are unstoppable.  If what we are planning to do during Lent is not getting us there, then we need to throw it out, start from scratch and find a new plan.

By God’s goodness we are chosen to live in this moment.  He invited us to do this and not to live it fully is to disrespect the gift.  Once upon a time for us is now.  This is God’s time and Lent is our way to unlock the potential of His love.

See you Ash Wednesday!!

Reverend  John J. Ouper