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Lent Reflections @ CEC: Third Sunday of Lent

Scripture context:

For a short period of my life, I lived near some woods in Washington state. From 4th to 6th grade. The carefree years when I had maybe a few chores, some schoolwork, and LOTS of playtime. So off to the woods we went, my brothers and I, and sometimes other neighborhood children. We explored. We played. There was a particular small tree that was mostly sideways, partially uprooted, and yet still stuck in the ground. It was like a one-sided teeter totter, and we rode that tree for hours. We made forts and hideouts. Even though it was often damp and cold, we still played.

Barry’s poem today likens Sabbath to the woods. A place that is always ending and beginning, new growth, pushing up through the dead underbrush. That is the pattern of the woods. The woods and the world are both the same - easily created by the Creator.

Berry asks the question “what is the way to the woods, how do you go there?” “

His answer?

By climbing through the six days’ field … to come in among these trees you must leave that behind the six days’ world … all of it.

Our scripture today is a familiar story to many, the interaction between Jesus and the woman at the well, as Samaritan. What captures my attention? “and he had to pass through Samaria.”

The invitation today focuses on the idea that the woods are like the “living water” that offers “eternal life” and Sabbath allows us to taste that life now. But I wonder if the “passing through” isn’t important as well. Why are the woods a respite? Because we need a respite from the world. The Sabbath is sweeter because we have passed through the six days. In the same way joy and grief so often go hand in hand, so do Sabbath and the world.

As we learn to Sabbath this year, may we remember that the One who created both the woods and the world has created the Sabbath for us to delight in him.

Karen Callis

lent booklet (2)
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