When we get this close to Holy Week I generally regret that I have not been more diligent in my Lenten practice. This year there is no regret—only longing for a clearer sense of what is truly necessary for a readiness to recognize God’s gifts in the everyday. Whether I am reading the”regular readings” or those chosen especially for parishes celebrating “the scrutinies” there are verses that always pull at my heartstrings — not with guilt but only desire. Listen to my favorite ones:
>I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God and they shall be my people.
>A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. Cast me not out from your presence and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
>Whoever serves me must follow me, says the Lord; and where I am, there also will my servant be.
>I trust in the Lord; my soul trusts in his word. More than sentinels wait for the dawn, let Israel wait for the Lord. For with the Lord there is kindness and with him is plenteous redemption.
With the sun this morning I can see the heavy frost on the trees across the river but I have confidence that, by noon, all of that frost will be dissipated and the hills will have taken on a different clarity, that which comes from the sun. I, too, will shine if I renew my trust in the Lord and choose to receive the warmth of God’s love suffusing everything around and within me. (I trust in the Lord; my soul trusts in his word.)