A few years ago during the holidays, three of us decided to visit the Kenton Valley Cherry Orchard. How do we get there, we wondered. I said, "Well, if we were going from my place, I would go up the North East Road and through Gumeracha." The orchard is between Lobethal and Gumeracha. But we would be leaving from the other side of the city, so perhaps we could go up Magill Road and through Norton Summit (there are a couple of alternative routes that way) and then through Lobethal. Or we could go up Greenhill Road and through Carey Gully and Lobethal.
But one of the others said, "No! I'm driving and we are going up the Freeway." So that is what we did - up the Freeway to the Hahndorf turn-off and then through Balhannah and Woodside.
I thought about having so many alterative roads, but all leading to our destination. We weren't just sight-seeing; we had a definite goal. The route wasn't so important in itself so long as we arrived at the right place. This is what our Lenten journey is like.
We have just entered the Christian Church's season of Lent. Lent has been described as the road leading to Holy Week and Easter. Lent itself is not our goal. It is not simply to introduce a little more self-discipline into our lives (although that may happen). It is not to teach us the value of self-sacrifice, certainly not primarily an opportunity to reduce weight and lower cholesterol. It is not even to cut down on spending, to save a little more to put in the Lenten Appeal envelopes. All these things may happen, just as we may become aware of the scenery on the road we travel although our primary purpose is not sightseeing.
The goal of our Lenten journey is our celebration of Good Friday and Easter Day and as we travel we will grow in awareness and appreciation of just what it means to be a child of God and to be aware of the influence of Jesus in our daily lives.
There are alternative routes for our Lenten journey – a variety of worship and study programs, a choice of self-discipline. For example, with UnitingWorld’s Lent Event “Bread for the Road” program, you can sign up online to receive short daily reflections, videos and ideas for action straight to your email inbox.
I hope that you have chosen which way you will travel and have set out on the road ... as you make your Lenten journey and as you journey through all of this new year. (Norah Norris)
ke your Lenten journey and as you journey through all of this new year.
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