March 19, 2010 / David Fitch

Lent @ “the Vine”

-1This Lent, all of us “at the Vine” are gathering around this obstruction  you see carefully placed around the altar by one of our talented artists -Brian Christensen. It symbolizes everything that impedes the presence of Christ in our lives, that impedes our relationships with one another, our neighbors and God through Jesus Christ – It symbollizes  the things we hold onto, the defensiveness, the sin, the evil, the enslavements, the things slowly destroying our lives while we keep on managing it for another day. We cannot be a people who participate in God’s mission if indeed we are impeded from the renewing life in God through the Spirit ourselves. Lent gives us the time to walk through the process of examining, and then allowing the root sins in our lives – the desires that impede – to be crucified so that we can be open to newness of life. We are faced with this every Sunday as we sit around this wonderful yet imposing piece of art which blocks us from the altar and each other (we sit in a round). One of the four texts from last Sunday was Rom 7 v.15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but (in fact) I do the very thing that I hate. v 24 O wretched man that I am … who will rescue me from this body of death? This text reminds us (among other things) that we are not ready-made missional people. We are selfish, defensive souls. We are blinded and impeded from the incredible life God wants to birth among us. We need Lent.
Lent culminates in Good Friday of course where we participate in Christ’s dying (putting our own sin and flesh on the cross). Then comes the glorious resurrection. We do baptisms on Easter Sunday where we each get to renew our baptism into the death and the resuurection into newness of life in the Spirit for eternity. vs.25 Thanks be to God thru Jesus Christ our Lord! On Easter we shall tear this piece of art down. It will be great! Thanks to Brian Christensen for his handiwork. It has helped me get through Lent in a powerful way!