“In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.” – Ps. 18:7

Everything about the readings today speaks of the coming darkness of the end of Lent and Good Friday; however, there is hope. In past years, I would not have really associated any part of Lent with hope. But, this year is different. There is hope.

My wife and I are expecting our first child sometime around Easter (for those who have had children, you know: due dates are mere suggestions). As people ask how my Lent is going, I have the response: “I don’t really know. It feels like Advent and Lent just bled together.” And in all honesty, they have. Much like both seasons: pregnancy is this wonderful time of preparing to welcome a new life into the world, as well as a very stressful period of waiting. And, as the father, there’s not much more I can do. I just wait in hope.

Much like Gandalf’s promise at the end of The Two Towers, there is reason to hope that this will end. Usually, I struggle to shake off the monotony of the season for the joy of Easter. This year, however, there is a biological promise to the end of my waiting this season. While the promise doesn’t make the waiting go by any faster, it makes it bearable. It suggests some meaning for the preparation; a reason to keep enduring the struggle in the hope for a brighter day. Sometimes, that’s all we need: hope.

As we approach Holy Week, revel in the hope inherent at the end of Lent. Even though darkness descends upon us, the dawn is soon to follow. It is a promise echoed throughout scripture; fulfilled on Easter. But until then, we hope.

What have I struggled with during this season of Lent?
What is it that keeps me going through these last few days of Lent?
What grace do I hope to receive once these 40 days are over?

Matt Keppel