So here we are knee deep in the second week of Lent. The ashes of Ash Wednesday have long since washed away, the somberness of this holy season is beginning to fight with the pull toward spring with it’s soon to unfold riot of colors and for many people the promises they made to abstain from or to focus on have piled up in the corner with the clothes on the treadmill.
Lent has two themes to it, first the recalling of our baptism and preparation for it and second penance or repentance, returning to right relationship with God. Repentance requires us to reflect inwardly seeking to understand who we are as God’s children, marked and sealed as God’s own through the waters of our own baptism.
Christian writer Annie LaMott once said: "Our whole lives have been practicing not being startled or surprised by water and by the baptism. That's why baptism is so profound--you're submerged, you can't breathe, and you sputter for a minute--but when you come out, you're a different person."
One of our favorite pastimes growing up was to wander the woods that surrounded the home in which we lived in rural Massachusetts and a game we loved to play was to peer at our reflection in the still pools of water we found along the streams. It was like our own private house of mirrors. We would chuck stones in to see just how funny the ripples might make us look and bend ever closer to the water to try to see just how close you could get before you became one with what you saw.
Lent calls us to peer deeply into the waters of our own baptism; to gaze upon the reflections we see there, looking not for the person the world has created but for the one God created, the different one who came up sputtering from the water.
I invite you not to abandon Lent as many of us do this second or third week when the slogging gets a bit tough but to turn our attention inward rather than outward. To spend some time letting the waters of God completely encompass you, remembering that it is these very waters that washed you and made you clean and created that perfect reflection that awaits you. I encourage you to bend as closely as you can to those waters of Baptism until you become one with what God sees.
--The Rev. Leslie M. St. Louis