|A Word From Tim Downs - March 2013|
These are interesting days, for me personally, and for all of us as we continue this journey through Lenten reflections. I do not think it is too much of a stretch to connect this season of my own life as I work to bring a ministry to a close, and this liturgical season in which we contemplate another kind of transition, one having to do with our own mortality. As I write these words, they sound a little morose, and yet that is not how I feel either about Lent or my pending retirement.
We often associate Lent with spiritual disciplines:fasting, prayer, or often foregoing a particular pleasure or indulgence. I would rather consider Lent as a time of renewing trust. This is a season where we are invited to cease our striving for a bit, contemplate our limits and finitude, and recognize that our “ground of being,” the source of meaning and truth, is trustworthy beyond all of our efforts, even perhaps in the face of death itself. Our God is a trustworthy presence, one whose constancy is continually reaffirmed throughout life’s journey, whether we travel through joy or sorrow, sickness or health. We are not alone.
I recognize that my retirement will involve considerable change for me, a claiming or perhaps reclaiming of new priorities in my life, no doubt uncertainties, not to mention the inevitability of age and its “accumulation of diminishments.” Nonetheless, through all my seasons, those past and those to come, God’s offer is one of constancy. This is, after all, the God who has in Jesus Christ come to share our “common lot, conquering sin and death, and reconciling the whole creation to its Creator.”
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