The Divine Hours of Lent

I will be leaving San Diego this morning. In fact, I am in the airport lounge as you are reading this. I commenced this week in Michigan with the women of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper Michigan. I have spent the last three days here in California with several thousand evangelical clergy at the National Pastors’ Conference. Now I will shortly be on my way back to Memphis where, God being willing, Sam will pick me up this afternoon at Memphis International. But also, God willing, he will have our car packed with his clothes. We will throw my well-traveled suitcase in beside his and head out, not toward home, but toward south Georgia, where we will be with a Disciples of Christ body in Valdosta through Sunday.
As a travel plan or modus operandi, ten days like this gives a whole new dimension to the word,”triangulate.” But it is a beneficent way to spend Lent, because it also gives a whole new depth to the concept, “body of Christ.” Transcending all those once-upon-a-time lines of regionalism and denominationalism…even of gender and formal education…is a renewed, envigorated, familial sensibility, and it is emerging everywhere…emerging among all those who are the Church today. One has only to fly back and forth a few times over the old fence rows to perceive that.
We do not all sit on grand councils or even small boards. We do not all determine theology or occupy high office. But more and more we all are praying again and we all are worshipping again with a renewed earnestness and vigor…and that is enough. It is enough to tailor us into being Christian rather than Christianized. It is enough to shape each of us into so distinct a posture that we can again recognize each other, as once the early Christians did. It is enough to make me understand with Dame Julian this Lent that, “It will be well, and all manner of things will be well.”
Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!

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