As the holy season of Lent draws to a close and we make our way closer to the cross, I find myself giving thanks for this season of self-examination and repentance. This surprises me because Lent is not my favorite season of the year. While I know that living a life centered in God requires a level of self-awareness that comes, in part, from the fruits of our Lenten observances, the prospect of exercising more discipline or getting ‘real’ about the ways in which my life does not align with the precepts of our faith is not always welcome. Yet, I have found over and over again that it is only through this discipline, only through this reality check, that we can move into the future that God wants for us.
We continue to explore the deepening of our mission as a diocese. The clergy and lay leadership worked hard over the last year to pray and discern about the ways we can become, more fully, One Church. Opportunities continue to emerge, we make course corrections, and we do this in the space of creativity and imagination. Our creativity and imagination, though, can become misshapen if we avoid the hard work of self-examination, if we are unaware of the internal forces that drive us. God continually calls us back to the center where we experience the peace of God and become more aware of the particular gifts we have been given for ministry and the ways we are called to exercise those gifts.
Our upcoming engagement with Holy Week and the Easter season is an opportunity to reconcile ourselves to the God who calls us, individually and as a diocese, to a future of hope, healing, and renewal. We are invited to participate in creating that future. We are invited to engage the imagination of God. That invitation brings with it a call to self-examination and a challenge to live a life centered in God.