Here we are in the middle of the journey we call Lent, and a season that is often described as the church’s darkest season. I feel that description of darkness deep in my soul these days as we watch the news, hear of divisions in the church across the globe, and tire of the dreary weather just outside the door. I find myself in need of a word for weary traveler, maybe even a mid-journey blessing as we turn the corner and head into the third Sunday of Lent. We have traversed the landscape of our souls over these past few weeks together and for that I am deeply grateful. We have been reminded through scripture, prayers, beautiful music and breaking bread together at God’s table, as well as in time together outside of worship, that this annual pilgrimage to and through the foot of the cross is both complicated and compelling.
Thank you to everyone who went with us to the Islamic Center last Sunday. Our presence made a difference to our Muslim brothers and sisters and it was wonderful to be a small part of such an outpouring of love and solidarity. I left that day feeling hopeful that indeed love will always win and that being silent and siloed is the only thing we must never do.
This has been a hard Lent for many of us- personal and global challenges on top of the effects of a long and dark winter have left many of us yearning for a season of Spring- both inside and out. But the days are now getting longer and lighter and the promise of new life imminent.
I offer us all John Donohue’s Blessing for Travelers below as we continue to make our way.
Thank you always, for the many ways you are showing up for this journey; it is not a trip always easy to take, but never is there a regret at the journey’s end.
May you never forget that you are loved.
Blessing for Travelers
When you travel, a new silence goes with you, and if you listen, you will hear
what your heart would love to say.
A journey can become a sacred thing.
Make sure, before you go, to take
to bless your going forth,
to free your heart of ballast
so that the compass of your soul
might direct you toward the territories of spirit
where you will discover more of your hidden life,
and the urgencies that deserve to claim you.
May you travel in an awakened way,
gathered wisely into your inner ground;
that you may not waste the invitations
which wait along the way to transform you.
(by John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us)