Pathways through Lent

Don’t Look Back—Look Forward

Psalm 86:11-17 Deuteronomy 6:20-25 Acts 8:26-39 John 4:31-38

I was visiting National Harbor with my family for the Christmas-tree lighting ceremony in November 2012 when the smallest member of our family, my 3-year-old cousin Jourdyn, spotted some yellow balloons. Dutifully, we moved toward the man in the dog costume who was holding the balloons, but as we approached, Jourdyn unexpectedly started screaming in terror from his costume. Thinking fast, I picked her up and placed her on my grandfather’s walker. He lovingly turned her away from the man-sized dog and pushed her to safety, comforting her with, “Don’t look back—look forward.”

In today’s readings from Deuteronomy, we are reminded of God’s fulfilled promise to bring the Jews out of bondage in Egypt. Though Lent is a time for reflecting on the past, it is also a time for preparing for Jesus’ glorious resurrection and our salvation from sin and death—another fulfilled promise from God.

Like my cousin, we all have things we are looking to escape, but we must always be mindful of God’s promises: peace, rest, love, and eternal life. We should remember the times when God has brought us to safety after our trials. In the journey of life, with all of its twists and turns, it is important to remember that in the end we have eternal life through Christ Jesus. And, especially during Lent, that is something to look forward to.

–Niquelle Allen

Photo: Jourdyn Ross, Stanley Allen Sr.
Photo: Jourdyn Ross, Stanley Allen Sr.

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