Have you ever wondered how long it would take you to walk across the United States, from coast to coast?
There have been 50 or so men and women who have made that long walk, including a man named Bill Bucklew. Bill walked across the USA in 2017 to raise money for Parkinson’s Disease research. He walked from Tybee Island, Georgia to San Diego, California, raising over $120,000 for Parkinson’s Disease research along the way. When he finally walked out into the waves on Imperial Beach in San Diego, he was greeted with cheers, applause, and whistles by his many supporters. The journey had taken him only 67 days, which is still the record.
We too are on a journey, a 40 day walk through the season of Lent. Symbolically, we are following Jesus Christ on his journey to Jerusalem – the journey to the cross. While it would be great if our journey through Lent brought in a huge sum of money to the church (and it would be really great!!), that isn’t the point. And while it would be wonderful to be cheered and clapped for on our arrival, that isn’t very likely either.
Our goal is to prepare for Easter, for the scandal of the cross and the victory of the emp-ty tomb. This is a season when we are to contemplate our own mortality and sinfulness, as well as our need for redemption and salvation. We probably won’t end up with phys-ical blisters on our feet, but we may end up with spiritual bumps and bruises as we fol-low Christ on the way of the cross.
The good news is that God can use these bumps and bruises to deepen our faith and our experience of Christ’s grace. If we are willing, our weaknesses and struggles and flaws open up the places within us where the Holy Spirit bring about transformation and heal-ing.
My prayer is that we won’t skip the journey or take it lightly, but truly enter into it every step of the way. And that through this journey, we will grow closer to Christ and to one another, until we are truly ready for the miracle of resurrection!