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Lent And The Flood

I would bet money that somewhere in your church this Lent, there’s a bare tree branch draped in purple fabric and an empty bowl filled with rocks. I’m not poking fun, the desert imagery that surrounds the season of Lent isn’t a cliché — or if it is, it’s only because cliches are essentially true. Lent is the dessert. Lent is the wilderness. Lent is the time of less. But what if Lent was also the flood? It seems counterintuitive, floods are excessive, and we don’t think of Lent as a time for superabundance. Lent is when we limit experiences outside of ourselves in order to limit proclivities within ourselves. Lent is not a time for anything to be washing over us, consuming us, carrying us away on a tide. Unless…it is. Consider the flood of the Old Testament. An act of destruction, yes, but also an act of purification. An endurance test for the soul, an epic trust fall exercise between God and Noah in which Noah had to ride the literal waves, clinging to life as God wiped away everything familiar. Everything sinful. In Lent, we relinquish our weaknesses and our infirmities to the flood. It’s frightening, certainly. But it’s also exciting. Because just as the flood destroys everything, it also makes everything possible. It is a baptism. Lent, like the flood, makes the world new. — Colleen Jurkiewicz ©LPi “Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the Spirit.” — 1 Peter 3:18


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