John 20:1 Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found the stone had been removed ….
As I continue to do physical therapy my trainers encourage me to add variety to my workout – to not do the same thing every day. “Use different muscles, use different machines, vary your times, repetitions, and exercises.” In life we are told that “variety is the spice of life.” As we get older we are told to add variety to our mental processes – work crosswords, read different kinds of books, take up a hobby, etc.
Lent is the season to add variety to our spiritual life. It might start as something as simple as sitting in a different place in church, going to a different service, or adding evensong or a class to your church life. It can mean taking on a service project or changing one’s community service. What is fasting all about if it’s not about bringing variety to one’s diet? In this week before Lent, consider how you can bring variety to your spiritual routine. Lent is a wonderful season to experiment.
Now what does this have to do with Mary Magdalene and the removal of the stone that blocked the tomb? The stone is a barrier to the tomb. It prevented Jesus followers from being with his spirit and body. Variety in our life, especially our spiritual life, shatters barriers. We all have barriers that keep us from God’s abiding presence, and when we remove them we find God and become fully alive.
Routine can become a barrier to God. During Lent, it is a stone we are called to remove. We are called to examine what we ignore, put off, or separate. Lent is time to roll it all away.