Moving through Lent brings us ever closer to the cross, to the events that mark the passion of Christ. For now, the cross is barely visible, just a shadow, but we know it is a part of this journey. We know that if Lent is genuinely a part of our faith journey, we will get to the cross and all that it means to us. On the way, we will participate in the passion of Jesus.
Marcus Borg writes about this kind of participation.
Imagine that it’s about participating in Jesus’s passion for the transformation of “this world” into a world of justice and peace. Imagine that it’s about a passion to change “this world.” What difference might that make for what it means to be Christian – and to be an American Christian?
Might our Lenten journey become more than forty empty days of observing this part of the Christian year? Might Lent become a deeply sincere expression of our devotion? Might we find along our Lenten path a renewed passion to transform our world?
God grant that we can experience a holy passion. It is not an easy road for us. Dietrich Bonhoeffer does not describe a Christ that is gloriously transported to heaven. Instead, he says this:
Christ is not gloriously transported from earth into heaven. He must instead go to the cross. And precisely there, where the cross stands, the resurrection is near. Precisely here, where all lose faith in God, where all despair about the power of God, God is fully there, and Christ is alive and near.
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is on the Cross: Reflections on Lent and Easter
The glorious miracle is that what we see now as a mere shadow of a cross becomes a clear vision of resurrection — Christ’s and ours.