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February 2013

Lent: A season of reality-based hope

We are in the season of Lent. It is a season of preparation, active waiting, reflection, discipline, repentance and hope.

I have always had mixed feelings about the Lenten season. On the one hand, it seems a bit somber. We are called to embrace the hard realities of life, and then enter into the depths of Holy Week and Good Friday. It is a gift to have time to lament, but it is not an easy season.

On the other hand, Lent leads to the sure and certain promise of Easter. The dark days of Lent are given new life in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As sobering as the Lenten themes may be, they lead inexorably to hope, joy and abundant life in Christ. Good Friday is real, but it is not the last word.

The theme for our recent Luther Seminary board meeting was "Reality-based Hope." In chapel last week, David Lose spoke of his relief that Lent had arrived. He said that for us at Luther, it's as if Lent began last December, with the hard news of our financial challenges and leadership changes. We have been living a Lenten life, and I am glad that the actual season of Lent has come to carry us along. He then went on to preach the Good News, eloquently reminding us that we can embrace this season of Lent, knowing the promise of Easter.

As we live into Lent at Luther Seminary, we are at work. We are responding to our painful challenges and living toward a joy-filled, sustainable future.

Thank you for your prayers, your encouragement, your counsel and your support. May God guide us all through this season of preparation, repentance and hope.

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