In many traditions, Lent has been a season of giving up – but giving up in terms of suffering, of taking on guilt, of contemplating our unworthiness, our sinfulness. If ever there was a season where fall/redemption theology shone, this was it.
But what if Lent becomes a time in which we explore the via negativa? What if in this season we are provided an opportunity to meet our negative side not as something bad that must be rejected, but as something that can be embraced and offered to God?
The “Torah” readings for the Sundays during Lent follow the story of David, and in so doing invite us to confront pain, sin, difficulty, and darkness. It is only by confronting these things that we can truly confront the complete reality of who we are, who we have become, and who we can yet be.
The other scriptures have been chosen to support these stories, to guide one in a season of pouring out, and spending time in an awareness of sin – not in terms of breast-beating guilt but rather as that state of being in which we are distanced from our creator and long for reconnection. This in turn sets us up, hopefully, for Easter as the ultimate moment of breakthrough – of experiencing the via creativa.
© Donald Schmidt “Taken from Emerging Word: a Creational Spirituality Lectionary by Donald Schmidt. Copies are available from him.”