Sunset Views

The Journey

The season of Lent is often described as a journey of sorts. We are remembering Jesus’ journey here on earth. We have our own spiritual journeys by trying new spiritual practices, or taking our Wednesday nights to renew ourselves for this journey of life. In scripture we read and talk about the journey of the disciples and how they interacted and experienced Jesus Christ in their midst. Lent is a journey.

From numerous cultural sources we hear things like “life is a journey”, or “remember, it’s about the journey, not the destination”. Our “journeys” are unique to each and every one of us, and I suppose that is where in the beauty lies. We are the only ones who can truly understand our own journey.

I love this! I am the type of person who really loves a great “journey”. Sometimes I get tunnel vision thinking about the destination and miss the process and surroundings. Whether this be an actual geographical journey, spiritual journey, or journey to fulfill a goal or dream, I can forget to take a moment and embrace what is in front of me now and here.

I also sometimes forget that the journey isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes our journeys are filled with pitfalls, wrong turns, and obstacles. Sometimes it takes a little grit, dirt, and pain to push on in our journey. And sometimes it is this struggle that makes the destination that much sweeter.

Can you imagine what this journey for Christ was like knowing that your destination is a humiliating and painful death? Whether Jesus knew this was his destiny through divine insight, or he simply knew the nature of oppressive, powerful people, he knew that the cross awaited him.

But, the piece that I often find misleading when commentaries and leaders in the church talk about Lent being a journey is when they say it’s a journey to the cross. This is so depressing…and inaccurate in my opinion because we all know that the journey does not end at the cross. Jesus’ journey doesn’t even end with the empty tomb. In fact, the journey never really ends; as Jesus is lifted up by the right hand of God we understand that Jesus is here with us today in this moment.

If you appreciate the reflective and prayerful practices of a somber journey to the cross that is fine, but don’t let this over shadow the absolute awe and wonder of the empty tomb. Lent may “officially” end for the church that Saturday before Easter, but remember that the journey isn’t to the death of our savior, but rather the glory of the resurrection.

So, let’s journey on.

Pastor Lou Peters

March 10, 2021

(Pastor Lou previously served our congregation, taking another call in February 2022.)