Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wilderness Yearning: Wednesday in the Third Week of Lent

Your word is a lantern to my feet
  and a light upon my path. 
    Psalm 119:105

My daughter and I rush out the door into the early morning and hustle into the car when it dawns on us almost simultaneously. It is light out. For weeks now we have been making this early run for a band practice that takes place before school. We have begun these mornings dark and cold and many was the time we forgot to take into account the weather and lost precious minutes scraping ice off the car.

But today the light is different. Of course it has been changing for some time now; since late December the days have been lengthening. Not evenly, as it turns out. The rate of change in sunrise and sunset is not a constant. After the winter solstice, the sun begins to set a bit later adding seconds to the day. By mid-January the day is lengthening at both ends by a minute. Now we gain two and a half minutes a day giving us 11 ½ hours of daylight.

The change has been with us all along, but today we notice. We experience it as a gift. We smile at one another.

Lent comes from lencten, an old English word for spring, which means to lengthen. The days are lengthening. The Lenten passage offers opportunities for our understanding to broaden as well. God’s word in the wilderness lightens the path for us, not only so that we not lose our way, but also that we might discover treasures in the desert.

copyright © Anne E. Kitch 2013