As Lent begins this week, Bishop Ward talks about God’s redemption and restoration.
“Create in me a clean heart O God. Restore to me the joy of my salvation. Do not cast me away.” With these words, found in Psalm 51, tomorrow we begin the season of Lent.
The season of the Christian year in which we pause and reflect and pray, the season of the year in which we grow silent before God. The season of the year in which we name the brokenness in our lives. The season of the year in which we wait for God’s redeeming and resurrecting power.
This beautiful vase was created by children at Central United Methodist Church in Jackson, Mississippi. They made it out of broken pieces of mirror. The mirror was crashed apart by the wind and waves driven by Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf coast.
I love this beautiful creation. It’s a redeemed piece of art. It’s redeemed from brokenness and trouble and despair. In this way, this beautiful vase is a symbol of Lent and the redemption which God offers to each of us.
My sister-in-law and two nephews have a shop on the coast of North Carolina. It’s called Seagreen, The Fine Art of Reuse. It’s a wonderland of re-purposed art, things which would have been thrown away had not the eye of an artist spied the object, captured it, redeemed it, re-crafted it.
Whenever I am in this wonderful place, I am reminded of the redeeming, creative, restoring work of God in our lives. And as we begin this season of Lent, as we begin this journey toward the cross, and through the cross to resurrected life, let us remember that we live under the providence and love of a God who redeems and restores.
This God takes broken pieces and crafts of brokenness, great beauty. May it be so in every broken place in our hearts, in our lives, in our communities, and in our world.
As Lent begins, may we begin this journey in humble confidence, knowing that God meets us, that God is ready to create in us new hearts. That God does not cast us away, and that God will restore to us the joy of our salvation.