Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ray Robert , Arthur William, Jesse Alto, Golda Howe, Ivan W. Jessen
Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Lent for 2013.  I don't really remember Lent as a child except to know that the menu seemed to change at the Pleasant View Elementary School cafeteria.  I didn't know why.  It was just one of the unknown mysteries of life.

Turns out that it really is a mystery.  Not the cafeteria!  But the mystery of faith and the experience of discovery.

It is like looking back at your family and seeing faces that are familiar but knowing that there is so much more to discover about life, history, and even the joy of DNA.

My father's family is a good example.  None of the people in the picture are still alive but in a very mysterious way, they live through me and hundreds of others who currently walk the earth and share their DNA.

My grandfather and grandmother (Arthur William Jessen and Golda Howe Jessen) were adventurers.  They homesteaded on the dusty eastern plains of Colorado near Genoa and Hugo.  It must have been a challenging life.  Break the sod, plant a crop, raise some chickens, keep the coyotes away, and give birth to three boys in the same sod house that grandpa built with his own hands.  Life was different but God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

I don't know if they thought about the season of Lent when the weather was a few weeks from spring. But I do know that sacrifice was a daily event on the plains.  It was daily creativity and ingenuity that created the basics of life.  Without thinking about it...they knew that there was a time for everything under heaven.

Grandpa moved the family from the plains to the community of Windsor in northern Colorado where he launched a business hauling coal in the winter, ice in the summer, and beet pulp in season.  Ultimately he became the Justice of the Peace and reigned with authority over law breakers of all shapes and sizes.  Grandma died, he remarried (twice) but things were never the same.  The Lord of Life was the same, but he spark and the adventure seemed to disappear from Grandpa's eye.

Lent is about regaining the spark.  It is about a relationship that grows deeper each day.  It is not about making it happen with your own hands and ingenuity but it is about creating life through your heart of hearts.

Do you need a bit of a spark?  I do!  Thanks be to God, tomorrow is the first Sunday of Lent!  Thank God for the DNA of faith that arrives in the form of grace that is the same today, yesterday, and tomorrow.