A note from Vicar Adam
Each year before the Oscars award ceremony my wife and some of our friends attempt to watch as many of the nominated films as we can. It makes watching the Oscars an event that we feel a part of and it also allows us to keep up to date on some of the most interesting and thought-provoking films each year. This year, I saw many of the nominated films, and one of the themes that continued to pop up was the idea of community. In many of these movies the idea of relying on a family or group of friends was front and center. And some focused on those hurtful effects of not having a group to rely on.
The movie that stood out to me in a very personal way this year was Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Now before you dismiss this as just an animated kid’s movie (which it is), let me explain a little of why I loved it so much. First, I’ve been a fan of super-heroes for a very long time, although many super-hero movies are not very good. Second, the music and animation were really fun in this movie. But most of all, among its important themes, including taking risks, this movie focused on how important it is to have people in our lives who understand us on a deeper level. It is important to know that there are people in our lives who really understand the joys and sorrows that we go through each day. Our family and friends make a real difference.
As Christians we believe that God knows what it is to be human, because God became a human in the person of Jesus. As we enter into Lent, with our focus on preparing ourselves for the death and resurrection of Christ, we often take a look at the ways we have fallen short of what God hopes for our lives. But know that Lent is not just about how we have sinned, or missed the mark. Lent is also recognizing the one who knows our pain, our hurts, and our failings, and has set us free through his death and resurrection. Jesus knows our deepest hurts. God knows our pain, because Jesus has been there.
So first in Lent, remember that God understands whatever you are going through, and continues to love you. Second, as we remember that we are dust and to dust we will return, take a moment to look up from your prayers in worship and look around at all the other people of dust who walk with you. In our gathered community, we share each other’s joys and pains. As the Apostle Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 12:26: “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.”
As we walk through Lent together, keep an eye out for those around you who you can rely on. Keep an eye out for those who can rely on you. Share each other’s burdens. Rejoice with each other’s joy. And know that in Lent we all are preparing and remembering to continually rely on God in Christ who understands us so very deeply.
Thanks God, for knowing me, and walking with me. Amen.
Vicar Adam Arends
Numbers 36:1-Deuteronomy 1:46