Confession: I sometimes like to walk through cemeteries for fun. Especially old, historical cemeteries. So on my recent trip to Puerto Rico, I decided to walk through the historic cemetery in San Juan that overlooked the ocean. It was beautiful and peaceful. I walked around imagining the stories of the people there and wondered about all the ways we are all connected.
The cemetery had beautiful monuments on the graves, some of which were still broken from Hurricane Maria that came through in 2017. There were angels, lambs, statues of Jesus, and many crosses. One grave in particular caught my eye because there was a guitar statue leaning against a small, mortuary house.
I was intrigued. Was this a famous musician? If I opened the doors, would I discover why there was a guitar and why they had a mortuary house vs a flat grave?
I had to know more. The doors were beautiful. Weathered. And slightly ajar. So I pulled them open just a bit more….and then….. I had even more questions.
Why was Jesus in a box? Who comes here regularly to place fresh flowers inside? For some reason this particular eternal resting place had me thinking and I wanted to stay and think all afternoon but time would not allow it. So I snapped a photo to think about it later.
That’s when I saw it. My reflection (and that of my friend) on the box around Jesus.
During the season of Lent we are more aware of our humanity while at the same time looking towards a future of eternal life. We practice spiritual disciplines that help us to grow closer to Jesus so that we can reflect the image of God. We stretch ourselves to see the breadth and depth of God in infinite ways. While this is the ideal posture toward Lent, we often end up back in our old habits that put Jesus in finite boxes that reflect our image.
Don’t let that happen this year. If God is reflecting you (from your point of view) instead of you reflecting God, then find ways to rediscover the intimate yet infinite nature of the Holy Spirit in your life. And know that when we do that together as a church, we will grow closer to being the church God is calling us to be!