The past two years have been unsettling in many ways as we have traversed through the Covid-19 pandemic. Included in this unsettledness are many things that we have lost, occasions that we have missed out on, relationships that have been required to take a different shape, communications that have needed to adapt, appearances that have taken on a different quality because of masks, zoom, and aging. We have our lists of these losses, long lists of things we lament and wonder if somehow we will ever be able to recover.
At the same time I am wondering about the lists of new discoveries that have been observed in the past two years, new learnings, orientations that might have changed for the better. Perhaps they are necessary accommodations because of a loss, perhaps they are new adventures made possible by not being weighed down by the old, or maybe enlightened insights by the challenges before us.
For this Lent, I invite the community of Bethany to write Lenten reflections on the theme of “lost and found” as you have experienced it of late. Name a loss, and in a paragraph or two speak to the impact of that loss. Then, in equal space, share a new discovery found during this season of Covid, and what it means to you going forward. Perhaps what is lost and what is found are seemingly unrelated but together they represent a movement through this time.
In the Lenten season of the church, we move toward Holy Week, with its losses, including arrest, persecution, betrayal, denial, and crucifixion…insurmountable losses. And then we arrive at Easter, and the discovery by the women of the empty tomb. The losses remain, but a new discovery now accompanies them, and the journey is one where we are accompanied by Jesus.
We are looking for submissions for a Lenten Devotional based on the theme of Lost and Found. We would like to receive these submissions by Sunday, February 20th, if possible, at the church office. Included in the Bethany 2022 Lenten Devotional will be Scriptural stories about “Lost and Found”, including:
Parables: The Prodigal Son
The Lost coin
The Good Shepherd
Stories: Jacob and Esau – Lost Siblings
Joseph, the Egypt Saga
Jesus, the Cross and Resurection
For many of these Bible stories, the punctuating sentiment is “Rejoice with me, for what has been lost is found.” While every story of loss does not end with rejoicing, perhaps we can rejoice in the small victories we discover along the way, and moreover in the final victory that is ours at Easter.