Lent Has Been Extended

by Rev.  Dr. Suzanne Allen 

Read  

Matthew 4:1-11

Reflect 

Covid-19, it seems, has caused the season of Lent to be extended until further notice.  When we lined up on Ash Wednesday and received the sign of the cross on our foreheads and heard words about our mortality, we had no idea how real this would get.

And yet here we are, social distancing, staying at home, trying to process the reality that we are living during a pandemic…the stuff of history, movies, and games, but not our lives. 

There are good parts to it—staying at home, slowing down, sleeping in, playing games, watching movies, home-cooked meals, church in your pjs. 

But the worry, the increasing number of cases creeping closer to those we know and love, the new routine, the number of days at home that keep getting extended bring a stress that wears us out and challenges our faith.

It reminds me of the powerful video depicting Jesus’ 40 days in the Wilderness At first he finds beauty and delight in his silent retreat.  But as the days pass he grows weary and vulnerable. And then, temptation comes. 

This season of Covid-19 will wear us down and tempt us — to value the material over the spiritual, to give in to hopelessness, and to take control of whatever we can. 

But the good news is that Jesus has gone before us.  He shows us how to face and resist these temptations and to trust God.  He is with us now, walking with us, showing us where true strength comes from, assuring us that although the days of trial might linger, though we might walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we are not alone.  God is with us. Easter comes.

What temptations are you most susceptible to?  What spiritual practices help you become aware of these and place your trust in God? 

Respond 

O God, during this season of Covid-19, allow us to experience the joys of being at home, of nature, art, music, family, and faith.  Allow these to strengthen our souls and build our endurance for the darkest hours. Assure us that we are not alone, that you are with us, and that even when Lent lingers long, Easter comes. 

Remember

What spiritual practices helped strengthen your soul and place your trust in God today?

Comment below or use a journal to record how God is with you each day of this journey.

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