Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

…"Creation testifies to God's beauty but in its own distinctive ways and God testifies to His own beauty through creation’s own beauty." [Jeremy Begbie] Two certainties flow from this: that we can enjoy the beauty of created things, like flowers because He values this physical world and is committed to renewing it. He showed us this when he first renewed Jesus' body at the resurrection. Jesus' resurrection is the promise of the physical renewal of the whole creation. It will go on into eternity and be more glorious than it is now, beyond our imagining.

From a lecture by Jane Winter:  “Truth, Beauty and Flowers”  (reproduced by The Washington Institute).

Today another snowstorm is moving through our area. The prospect of spring or anything remotely connected to Resurrection looks bleak. But as many in Western Christendom enter Lent, traditionally a time of fasting, praying, and repenting, we count the days to the celebration of Easter morning, of Christ’s return from hell. There are signs of it coming. This morning as I read through the book of Habakkuk, and the prophet attests to God’s inexorable movement through and into this world. He promises:  “…though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” (2:3)

Not only Scripture assures the miracle of resurrection, just stepping out my door to take a closer look contains it’s own miracle. That the collection of snow falling on a metal fence should be so beautiful? That a home on frozen ground surrounded by ice displays a kind of beauty? I want to be more aware, more hopeful, more thankful. So I’ll begin Lent here, confessing I’m not.


Sandra Oster said...

I haven't spent enough time pondering Lent. I do think that having intention in thinking about the reality of what was needed to accomplish salvation is so important, because every day life seems to have not room for the consideration of 'bigger' things. Partly I have been busy moving, working, having a very bad cold etc. but in reality, it is just because I am rather lazy regarding maintaining my relationship with God. The seasons and patterns of life can be helpful, but only if you make time to consider what they mean and who designed them. I am rambling a bit, but as always, you have made me stop and think. Always helpful. Thanks

Sam Van Eman said...

It interests me how well and how often you talk about the things you claim to fail at. Perhaps you want more awareness and hopefulness - I could say the same about me who makes an equal number of criticisms of what I produce, as you did with your pie - but you sure are good at pointing the rest of us toward becoming more aware and hopeful.