Monday in Lent 1
Morning Office Readings: Psalms 41, 52; Deuteronomy 8:11-20; Hebrews 2:11-18; John 2:1-12

We’re 5 days into this season of Holy Lent and, if you’re like me, the novelty of new disciplines and abstaining from certain comforts is wearing off. The reality that we have committed to 40 days of this is alarmingly real, and maybe you have already strayed from your commitment. This season should be challenging, but the challenge can become more meaningful if we engage it individually and as a community.

In today’s Gospel reading, we hear the story of the wedding at Cana where Jesus turns water into wine—a remarkable feat indeed. As I read the text I was struck by Mary’s comment to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” The line jumped out at me like it hasn’t before. Mary is full of certainty and trust in her son.

Mothers know their children like no one else. Mothers know the blessings and challenges that their children are made of. Mothers know their children’s brightest and darkest spots. At this wedding, in this moment, this mother, Mary, Jesus’ mother, without a doubt believes in her son, challenges, failures, dark spots and all. She demonstrates her trust in him, her confidence in his ability, and she affirms him in this one short line.

When taking on new disciplines, when doing the hard work to draw closer to God, we need those people who know us as a mother knows her child. In Lent and in the seasons to come we need to seek out those people who can affirm us, challenge us, hold us accountable, love us when we fail, celebrate with us when we succeed, and walk closely on this ever winding road.

It is important to seek those people out, and we must also be that person to those we know like a mother knows her child. This is a season not about flaunting our Lenten disciplines, or asking about them out of curiosity. We have been given the gift of 40 days to draw our hearts and minds closer to God, to change our lives for a faithful and lasting good, to reorient ourselves toward Christ. We have 40 days and a big challenge, but we don’t have to go at it alone. We can engage our community in the work, affirm each other, trust each other and hold one another accountable.

Maybe the challenge is daunting, maybe it’s early and already tiring, but this season is a gift that can feed us forever—let’s take care of one another along the way.

Ashley