As I have journeyed through Lent 2017, I have been reminded of the numerous steps of faith I have taken in my life. In 1973 at the age of sixteen, I became a member of First Baptist, Richmond; three year later in the same sanctuary, I expressed publicly my call to ordained ministry. Following my divorce in 2010, I faithfully stepped back into theological education at the age of fifty-two. That step of faith lead to my relationship with Suzanne, the love of my life, and the opportunity to strengthen my theological and ministry gifts with study at the School of Theology at Boston University.
In A Way other than Our Own, Walter Brueggemann, speaks of the promise of God’s presence in the midst of change and the future as promised in Genesis 17:4-6:
“Popular Lent is too much preoccupied with guilt and repentance. But not here. Lent is rather seeing how to take steps into God’s future so that we are no longer defined by what is past and no longer distracted by what we have treasured or feared about the present. Lent is for embracing the baby given to old people; resurrection to new life in Easter; and the offer of a new world made by God from nothing (page 46).”
It is not by accident that our journey through Lent coincides with our journey of transition, a journey that will continue into Easter, the period of resurrection and renewal. As we journey forward, my prayer is that we do so in celebrating our past, yet looking with anticipation to God’s presence and generosity.