“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?” – Job 11:7

I have been in a lot of conversations recently with people who want everything to fit together tidily and to make sense, especially in terms of faith. At the essential ‘bottom line’ level, that’s not a tall order. Here is how I understand it:

•Humankind was created to be in relationship with God;

•Jesus is God’s wide-open invitation;

•God’s love is an opportunity we can either accept and live into or walk away from.

The complexity and the angst come into play when we try to make God fit into our limited grasp of time and eternity, finite and infinite, fair and unfair, physical and spiritual, life and death, reasonable and unreasonable, mortality and immortality, seen and unseen, perishable and imperishable.

This is where the season of Lent is both critically important and beautifully suited for those who want to wrap their minds around faith but at the same time need to embrace the mystery. The weeks leading up to Easter are primarily about being more deliberate in spiritual practice, and more conscious of God as Mystery, as Presence and as Guide.

Beyond the simple truth of our need to accept God’s invitation and come home, there is very little about faith that offers anyone the comfort of being neatly explainable, especially when we add the layers of sin and injustice and prejudice and exclusion and translation (and more) that have shaped history and culture and message and communication.

Again, this is where our journey to Jerusalem and The Cross through the season of Lent can help us to be more consciously attuned to the mystery and the deeper spiritual nuances of faith in Jesus.

If you are not currently involved in a worshiping community, then this time of the year is a great opportunity to visit and to engage the journey in the company of other pilgrims. God is faithful and true and will certainly meet us all along the way.

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Derek Maul
Derek Maul has written for many news outlets, including the Tampa Tribune, The United Methodist News Service, All Pro Dad, FOCUS Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Presbyterians Today, Guideposts, Chicken Soup for the Soul and many other publications. Read Derek Maul’s daily blog posts at www.derekmaul.wordpress.com.