The Road To Easter
As we headed east, the sun began to peek over the top of the mountain range. We had a long way to drive today, but the road is well traveled. Many people make the trek to see the view from the top. The miles of mountains, valleys, clouds, and colors draw visitors from around the world. But first, we have to get there.
We pile into our car, the kids are half asleep and the dog is trying to see out every window in the car. As we begin the climb, I realize I am on the edge. Literally on the edge of the road. I can look down the side of the mountain, find waterfalls, and watch mountain goats walk on cliffs beneath us. A metal rail and nothing more marked the edge. It sure didn’t look like it would hold a car.
Then came the “switchback”. We made a sharp u-turn to go back across the face of the mountain. Still climbing but then I was against the rock face. I could have reached out and touched it but I would have lost my arm so I wisely didn’t even open the window. The rocks had so many colors and patterns, I started to understand why my cousins enjoy “rock hunting”—finding interesting rocks wherever they go.
Another “switchback” and another, on and on up the side of the mountain we went. There were places to pull off and look at the views but we decided to continue on to our destination, the TOP. The higher we climbed the more my kids commented about being too close to the edge and how far down it was. Dave took a minute to say, “God knows where we are and He is with us no matter what. Who can remember stories about God being with people during hard times?” Instantly shouts erupted. “Daniel in the lion’s den.” “Rack, Shack and Benny in the furnace.” “Peter walking on water and drowning but not.” The arguments started about who was right and the height of the car was forgotten for a few minutes.
When we finally arrived at the top the sun had emerged fully over the horizon and we could feel its warmth on our skin. The kids and the dog poured out of the car and started running around yelling. “Come see!” “Look at this!” “Where is that?” “Where is our hotel?” So many questions yet so much beauty to take in. I want to stop and enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds. We spent an hour at the top, then continued our journey to our new home.
As we approach Lent, I am drawn to the stories leading up to Easter. How did Jesus and His disciples move through Jericho to Jerusalem? I wonder what type of road they were on–straight, well-traveled, flat yet barely a path, or hilly and curvy? I am sure they were too deep in discussion to even notice things around them. Yet Jesus had so much to share with them. He knew where they were and what they needed to learn. He asked questions. He encouraged them to leave their doubts behind, corrected their misunderstandings, and spent time revealing the Scriptures.
We celebrate Lent, to reflect, to fast (give up), and to serve. It is a time to remind ourselves of all the prophecies Christ fulfilled and His lineage and to reflect on the different attributes of God. Spending time fasting allows us to pray for the world, our nation, our friends, our family, our church, and our neighbors. The last part of Lent, service, is often overlooked. Jesus came to serve, not to be served. As we look toward Easter, we should focus on becoming more like Him and serve our community, our neighbors, and the world to share the hope of the Gospel.
Lent lasts forty days excluding Sundays. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday which this year is February 22, 2023. It ends on Maundy Thursday, April 6th. Maundy Thursday is the day we remember the Last Supper. As we prepare for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter, we need to reflect, fast, and serve. Each Sunday, I will post a short story and some Scriptures to read with your family to help with your reflection time during the week. Each week consider joining me in a fast whether a complete fast for one day or a partial fast for the week. Then serve– find a place you can serve your community, your neighbors, or the world, and share pictures on my website or social media. You never know how God might use your journey to inspire others.