Before I signed up to do a reflection, I was thumbing through the assigned readings for each day looking for something “easy” because I haven’t done this before. Then I realized nothing about this was going to be easy because I am still discerning meaning in almost any Bible passage I read. But I came across Psalm 121 and it was at least familiar from my childhood when I was made to participate in my parents’ ritual of daily daytime prayer. That’s how I recall it, but in actuality I know there was a time when I could “opt-out.” I think I often chose to participate though, mostly because it was familiar and there is something about that which is familiar that is comforting.
When reading these lessons, I went in order and the Jeremiah passage illustrates my assertion that none of this is easy. How do we make sense of a God who says “I will utterly destroy them, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting reproach”? (I’ll have to take that one to the Bible study group.) But it is followed by two more passages, one where we are reminded that God is our salvation and another where we see Jesus as healer. These are images that are more familiar, more comfortable.
As we journey through Lent, and in our daily journeys with God, may we have the courage to explore things that aren’t easy and challenge ourselves in ways that aren’t always comfortable. And in so doing, may we come more in touch with that which is familiar: the promise of God’s love.