Ash Wednesday falls on St Valentine’s Day today and Easter will fall on April Fools’ Day, so our journey from the beginning of Lent to the feast of the Resurrection is yoked in this particular year to a secular journey from celebrating human romance to exploiting human gullibility.
I had thought that there might be creative links for preaching here, but I haven’t yet found them.
I suspect that the reason I haven’t found the links is that human love and human intelligence are much less clear guides to God than we might think.
There is a strong temptation to think we know what ‘love’ means and therefore ‘the love of God’ must be this simply scaled up a lot. There is an equal temptation to think that we know what is ‘wise’ and therefore what ‘the wisdom of God’ would mean as if it were merely to know everything.
Instead, perhaps the task for this particular Lent is to seek to be open to any hints we might detect of the unimaginable love of God so that they might change our understanding of what human love could be, to be open to the wisdom of God which seems like foolishness so that it might subvert our understanding of human wisdom.
At least, this is what I tried to say to our Ash Wednesday congregation this morning: our Lenten task is probably not to make super-human effort to be better at Christian practice for a short while but to seek ways to be more open to the life and understanding of God which might then grace us more.
Meanwhile, the lemon tree was photographed in Bethlehem on Monday morning and the view on to our back lawn was taken just now.