Dear Church Family,
Our scriptures today come from John’s Gospel:

“But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb…Supposing him [Jesus] to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher)”.
–John 20:11-16

“Jesus said, “Abide in me as I abide in you.”
—John 15:4
Last night, at the conclusion of our Capstone class on the Gospel of John, our professor Jaime pointed out something I’d never thought of before. She said, “The only difference between Mary and Jesus’ other disciples who came to the tomb is that they left and she stayed. It was the most difficult time and place for her but she stayed. And because she stayed, she got the gift of being the first person in the history of the world to meet the Risen Christ.” It hit me that, even though this is an Easter passage, it teaches us a lot about what we are doing in Lent.  During Lent we are living out what Mary does at the tomb. We are not allowing ourselves to be pulled away from what is difficult about our faith or from what demands much of us. We are not allowing ourselves to be distracted by television or shopping or email or to-do lists. Instead, during Lent we are asked to stay and rest in that difficult place.

It is what John, in his Gospel, refers to as “abiding.” Jesus teaches us, throughout John, that when we “abide” and stay with him, he will be with us. That is what we believe about our Lenten journey too. That if we will stay in this faith place, even when difficult, Jesus will show himself to us. He will call us by name and we too will know the life-changing power of our Risen Lord.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, keep us in one place this Lent. Help us remain with you, even when it becomes difficult and even when we might be distracted. Help us to abide so that you will show yourself to us again. In your holy name we pray. Amen.

Christ’s Peace be with you all,