Pathways through Lent

No Fruit for You

Psalm 119:145–176 Exodus 7:8–24 2 Corinthians 2:14–3:6 Mark 10:1–16

…the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines…–Habakkuk 3:17 We’ve certainly had our fill of that feeling with the recent recession.

There is sometimes a yearning in people to be tested against adversity, and there is a certain excitement in catastrophes, in hurricanes and stock market crashes. Disasters always provide some iconic photo for the front page.

But recessions are all whimper and no bang. They do not fill us with terror but with lingering anxiety. There are no shocking headlines, and the revolution is not televised.

In Lent, we remember that our faith and optimism are not tested most severely in moments of excitement, in trials that are over quickly and retold over warm dinners on cold nights. The brave stubbornness of refusing to give in to despair rarely makes for good movies or thrilling passages of literature.

But it does make for a good Lent. It is the ongoing challenges with no promises of glory that really force us to find the strength to carry on. To look for that strength from God, and with our friends, and in ourselves.

We can find it. And we will.

–Jeremy Skog


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