Lent is shorthand for the “lengthening” in Middle English, pointing to longer days as springtime arrives. While this winter has been a head scratcher, I am definitely looking forward to longer days and more sunshine. Bring on the light!

In the Body of Christ, Lent also marks the time leading up to Easter and the joy of Christ’s risen life. But because Easter arrives quite early this year and we have literally just been smudged with ashes, my heart isn’t quite ready for that next chapter in the story.

I’m still leaning into the lengthening part of the liturgical calendar. Letting my eyes adjust to the changing season, allowing my body and heart to soak in the shift that’s happening.

As we have been pondering the intersection of our complex and intricate heart, including the messy heart of the Apostle Peter, I know I need a little more time to let my heart catch up to the Spirit.

A little more time to let my blood pressure slow. Maybe another few weeks to let this structured season seep into my veins and ventricles.

I don’t think this is as much resistance as it is an appreciation for the dynamic symbiosis that is happening inside our bodies, often pretty effortlessly to our consciousness and awareness.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how hard our hearts are working for us all the time.

100,000 beats a day.

2,000 gallons of blood pumped through all our extremities.

24/7, 365, thanks be to God.

We believe in a God who never sleeps and never stops working for our good, for our thriving, for our abundance, our clarity, our generosity, our beloved community.

This season of lengthening and stretching of our hearts invites us to imagine both our hearts and our neighbors in rhythm with God.

God never stops imagining a way forward for us. Through the wilderness, despite the cross, and beyond the grave.

May we all experience that feeling of lengthening in our hearts, centered on the promise of Christ’s ever-beating love.

Pastor Peter