(Romans 5:3-5, NRSV)
One of the best parts of the story is when the hero and the Princess Bride are forced into the Fire Swamp to escape being chased by the king’s men. The Fire Swamp is a scary place full of traps and snares, all of which suggest a hopeless outcome. To call being lost in the Fire Swamp a struggle would be an understatement, for our beloved characters experience perilous situations, unforeseen threatening forces, and a significant dose of despair. But in the process, they learn how to anticipate the threats of the Fire Swamp, developing their ability to survive the clutches of that struggle, and find that there is every reason to maintain their hope for the future. Whew! … Struggles overcome … Happy ending (at least that part of the movie).
But admittedly the struggles of real life, our lives, are typically not what we consider to be so entertaining, as they are in a movie. Our experiences of real life struggles are much more vivid and in-your-face.
And so, we will be exploring this very question as this year’s Lenten theme, beginning our journey with Ash Wednesday on Feb. 10th and continuing every Sunday as we work our way to Easter. I invite you to invite someone in your life to join you in our Lenten journey this year … it may just become the next source of revelation that transforms struggle to the wondrous gifts and breath of new life.
Peace and blessings to you, those you love, those who love you, and every son and daughter of God. Pastor Bob