An advertisement for a trip to Hawaii in 2022

By John Pierce

The season of Lent is designed for reflection — something some of us do on a more ongoing basis.

Reflection is less a formal evaluation of life (or a particularly aspect of living) and more of a continuous effort to see life’s demands and opportunities from a fresh perspective. To do reflection well necessitates being as comfortable and satisfied with questions as with answers.

The more intense reflections of this season focus both on the larger world (with realities that do not match up to all we were told to expect) and the ways our individual lives fit into this time and space.

For a couple of weeks now, a church near my home has been promoting a “Resurrection Cantata on Palm Sunday.” Lent and Holy Week are obviously not part of their tradition. But something is lost when we bypass important times of serious reflection to get on with the big event.

I understand the temptation. But reflection has so much to offer. Often we find the seeds of newness in the more contemplative moments leading up to celebration.

Reflection is not always revelation. More often it reaffirms what we already know— but struggle to embrace.

Celebration without serious reflection can lead us to thinking we know more than we do or are better than we are.

Honest reflection can remind us that we profess our faith in what God has done in Jesus Christ — not in our human ability to see everything clearly and correctly.

There is a difference, we can discover, between having an unwavering confidence in the goodness of God and being convinced that we fully comprehend the mind of God concerning all the complexities of life.

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