Lent Reveals The Desert

Lent Reveals The Desert February 25, 2017


It begins tomorrow night– Wednesday for you in the West. Lent is beginning.

Christ is going out into the desert.

Why is He going into the desert?

He is going to meet you there.

You are a fallen creature in a fallen world. Heaven is your home, but you were not born in Heaven. You were born on the fallen earth. You’ve felt it all your life. You’ve known that it’s there. You ought to be in Heaven, but you’re not. You ought to be happy, but you’re not. You ought to love readily, but you don’t. You ought to see light, and by the light see everything, but it’s dark.

There is a vast desert between yourself and Heaven. You are there already; you were born there. The only way home, to light and love and happiness, is to cross it. I can’t tell you what that will look like, for you. There are all kinds of deserts. Some are all sand dunes; some are hard packed dirt. Some are alive with cacti and some are barren. Some are blazing hot, but not all– the South Pole is in a desert, after all. And most every desert is cold at night. Night comes to all deserts– dark, chill night where you can’t see where you’re going.  It will come to that eventually, though I can’t say when. And when it comes, Christ will meet you and lead you by the hand.

Christ will lead you to Calvary. He has to, you see. It’s the only way out of the desert. Calvary is the way home. Every human being is suspended painfully between Heaven and Earth, and Calvary is how we’re freed from Earth. He went there Himself, so you wouldn’t be alone, and now He shows you the way.

I can’t say it won’t hurt to travel home. It will. I don’t know how much. I can’t say why it hurts some so much more than others. I don’t know why some deserts seem alive and some are so dead and lonely. I can’t understand why the nights are different lengths for different people.

But everyone will go through the desert, and everyone will have a dark night, and everyone will be crucified on Calvary.

And when it’s over, we’ll all be home.

This is where we are, every day of our lives. The brilliance of Lent is that it shines light on the desert.  It reminds us of where we are. This is the time of year when we can’t look away from our fallen state. We fast, as we are able, to remind ourselves that our souls are hungry. We gaze upon the Crucified Christ and see that our souls are crucified. We meditate on the Via Dolorosa and find it’s the road we’ve always walked.

What a wonder, to see our King there. The One who is without sin; the One who has no desert between Himself and Heaven, has left Heaven and come to the desert, to bring us home. The One who cannot die is submitting to death on Calvary, so that our death will lead us home.

Christ is going out into the desert.

He is coming here, to the desert, to lead us on the Via Dolorosa, to Calvary and from there, to home.

Make ready your heart. Prepare yourself for the Bridegroom.

Christ is coming to lead us home.

(In addition to our usual snark, art, memoirs and commentary, Steel Magnificat will be meditating on the Way of the Cross on Wednesdays and Fridays throughout Lent.) 

(Image Via Pixabay)




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