Friday, February 19, 2010

Lent: Day 3

So I can't believe that I'm already this far behind on my Lenten discipline! To help catch up, I'm going to offer very brief comments on the last few days of readings.

Luke 2.1-21

We all know this story so well it seems trite. Part of me now, after reading it, expects to wake up tomorrow with presents under a tree. But it's not Christmas. It's Lent. And I think the reading is almost more appropriate now.

As we begin to delve deeper into the season of Lent we move closer and closer to Good Friday and to the cross. In all the gospel stories, but especially in Luke, the life of Jesus is defined by the journey to Golgotha. And here, joining the shepherds, we are told to find the fulfillment of God's promises "wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger," an image that eerily parallels Joseph of Arimathea's care for Jesus' body, he " wrapped in a linen shroud and laid in a tomb" (Luke 23.53).

The joy of Incarnation and the sorrow of the Cross must always inform one another. As we find ourselves wrapped in the sack-cloth of Lenten penitence, we are reminded that we are joined by Emmanuel, the God who is always with us. And as we unite our Christmas with our Good Friday, we know that not only are we crucified with Christ, but we rise with him at Easter as well.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

You know what's funny about me reading this? I can't read that passage without hearing the voice of the Charlie Brown characters! But rather than cheapen it, it somehow deepens it. :)