Welcome back to Lent. I’m feeling a bit different this year. I’m still tired, overcommitted, buried (yet again) in construction dust. Still homeschooling my children in fits of exuberance marked by moments of sheer panic and exhaustion. Still making an attempt to be, if not the “perfect professional’s wife,” at least a companionable partner who makes a good show of respectability (on a good day I brush my hair) and charm when the occasion calls for it. I can’t tell you exactly what feels different this year. Maybe I’ll work that out over the course of the season. We have roughly 6 weeks together. Maybe we can all learn a little something about ourselves along the way.
As I have mentally rehearsed the return to the blog this year, there is a little word that has been beckoning to me, a word that seems to have fingers, tendrils, movement, fluidity, light, shadow, weight and depth. A word I need to hear. A word conspicuous in its absence and breathtaking in its presence.
It’s one of those simple words most of us have heard all our lives. In its voice we name our daughters. Under its melodies we begin our meals. It is in the songs we sing, the sacred texts we read.
By grace we are saved.
Amazing grace how sweet the sound.
The whole of the gospel in a tidy package. So simple and yet…
My moments of (often hard-won and desperate) epiphany this year have led me to this…
Wandering in wonder naturally leads to dwelling in grace.
The last Sunday before we head into Lent, we read the story of the Transfiguration of Christ. Jesus journeys to the top of a mountain with a few of his disciples. They see him changed: divinity exposed. And they decide that it would be good to just hang out there, basking in the glory-moment. They want to build dwelling places for the prophets and for Jesus. And you can just hear the exasperation in Jesus’s voice when he tells them “no.” But Jesus understood what the disciples couldn’t. Jesus was building something better. Abide in me. He tells his followers. Abide in me. Abide in my love.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. God made us, humanity, God’s dwelling place. A dwelling place whose very air is filled with grace.
We dwell in God. God dwells in us. A dwelling fused together by grace and by truth.
Grace is our home.
Come, let’s begin the journey home.