As I have done in previous Lents I am sharing a daily reflection as part of my Lenten discipline. This year I am using the “Wilderness Wanderings” theme compiled by the “Lent Photo a Day” group. The word appointed for today is “Rich.”
First of all, Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope that you are getting a chance to enjoy and share the love with those near to you and far away. It’s a bit odd that Valentine’s Day happens to also be the first Sunday in Lent this year, but even so, may it be a day of love, light, and a reminder of what matters.
Turning to today’s word… I am rich, and I am guessing you are too. Sure, I am not quite in the 1% rich bracket, nor do I really want to be. But, I am rich. I have good and safe drinking water, I have meaningful work and opportunities. I am rich in relationships and friendships. One glance at my Facebook feed today confirms this.
The amount of well wishes is humbling. I am truly rich in friendships, family, and loved ones, and that is something I will never take for granted. I am rich in conversation partners, in those of you like me, who find yourselves at the intersection points of life, leadership, service, ministry, society, etc. I am rich in collaborators, who like me have a sense of vocation and want to serve out of that in each of our own ways to make the world and our communities better.
As pictured, I am most definitely rich in love with my wife and partner in life and ministry, Allison. Without getting mushy, she makes me feel rich everyday with her smile, reassurance, and big mind and big heart.
I am rich in opportunity and experience. I also admit, I am rich in privilege. This is something that has taken time for me to fully realize, but college, travel, and graduate school have helped grow a more global perspective in my mind about what this means. I am not going to make an excuse for this, because I am grateful for it. But I wonder, how I can help extend the same opportunity and richness to others? And, how can I continue to learn, experience, and appreciate others’ perspectives?
These are questions that I ponder as a Christian and a Lutheran today. These are also questions I ponder when I think about this season of Lent. We are made rich in Christ Jesus. We are called and claimed Children of God, and inheritors of the Kingdom of God. This is purely a gift that we are all enriched with. As I have said before and will continue to ponder, the real question for me is, what does our response to this look like?
For today, my response is this- thanks and praise. Thank you for joining me and being connected with me either in person and/or through the wonder that is the Internet. Thank you for serving and inspiring me by sharing your stories of how you serve in the world. And thank you most of all to the one who makes all of this possible and calls us to be co-creators and doers, working at building the Kingdom of God together.
On this Valentine’s Day, take a little time to share the love and the riches you enjoy with those around you, known and unknown. When you share signs of love, whether you know it or not, you are also sharing signs of the Kingdom of God. Happy Valentine’s Day!