Lent | 3.5.12
Psalm 105:1-11, 37-45
On a Sunday soon after the first of the year, my family and I joined a local Haitian congregation for worship in the chapel at First Nazarene Church in East Nashville. Having traveled to Haiti several times in the past, our hope was to experience once again the passion and beauty of a Haitian worship service and connect with members of the local Haitian community. We were not disappointed as we were enthusiastically welcomed and enjoyed again the spontaneity and vibrancy of worship. The sermon (which was quietly translated for us by a young woman sitting nearby) focused on the birth of Isaac to an aged Abraham and Sarah, celebrating a long anticipated promise, fulfilled by God. The pastor encouraged his congregation, many of whom experienced great suffering before leaving their home country and continue to be very concerned for family they left behind, to exercise patience in waiting for the fulfillment of the promises of God.
The sermon took on new meaning for us because since the spring of 2011, my wife Elizabeth and I have been medical foster parents to a young boy from Haiti who is in the United States for medical treatment. He is an orphan who was born one month after the earthquake in Haiti and has needed medical attention for a congenital leg condition and vision impairment. We call him “Kenbe” which in Creole (the language of Haiti) means, “to hold on.” Our hope is to adopt him as our son one day. However, adopting from Haiti is a lengthy and unpredictable process. So, we must be patient as we wait and pray for the chance to become his parents.
Lent is a time for patient waiting that provides to Christ’s followers an opportunity for reflection and preparation before the joy of Easter Sunday. The story of Abraham and Sarah reminds us that long after one would expect a woman to be able to conceive and birth a child, God fulfilled a promise he made to them to make their descendants a great nation. Such a time of waiting tried their patience. While they were not always models of patience, God still used them to be a blessing to others.
As we prepare ourselves during Lent, let us patiently await the fulfillment of the promises God has made to us. We can take comfort in knowing that because of the resurrection we celebrate on Easter, we have the hope that those promises will be fulfilled.
Vice President for Administration and University Counsel
You can download the full Lent and Holy Week Devotional Guide at:http://www.belmont.edu/religion/files/lent-devotional-2012-final.pdf