This morning as I was sitting reading my Bible, I caught a glimpse of the Olympic mountains out my window. They were covered in the early morning light which reflected off their snow-covered peaks. It only lasted for a few minutes, but I drank in the breathtaking beauty of those minutes in silent prayer to God.
It's Fat Tuesday. The height of the Mardi Gras celebration. The pinnacle of Carnaval. The time of year when religious and non-religious types alike trek to places like New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro to whoop it up before the season of Lent begins. Granted, most party-goers could likely give a rip about Lent, but to celebrate the storm before the calm is still a tradition many engage in.
In January last year, Mr. Neff and I began a Lenten experiment. We wanted to see if we could eat adequate amounts of tasty and nutritious food on a food-stamp budget. We also wanted to see what we might learn from the attempt. I recorded the experiment in fifty almost-daily posts on my blog, Lively Dust.
Last year Naomi Tutu and I met on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to keep vigil on the 40th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Friends joined us from around the country. We asked the visitors gathered there: "What keeps us from living the Dream?" Most folks spoke of fear. Some spoke of ignorance.
I'm on vacation with my family this week, but in reflecting on the significance of Easter, I thought I'd share this passage from one of my books, The Call to Conversion. In a world wracked by war and violence, we are a people whose life and faith are rooted in the resurrection.
What is the good news? When all that sin had done, or could ever do, was laid on Jesus, it did not overcome him. Death could not swallow him. The grave was denied its victory. The witness of history and of his followers is that "he is risen." He is alive. He has triumphed over all. He is the victor over every sin, hate, fear, violence, and death. Nothing is stronger than his victory-nothing past, nothing present, and nothing future.