Job 26:14 – These are but the outer fringe of God’s works; how faint the whisper we hear of God! Who then can understand the thunder of the Holy One’s power?

These 40 days of Lent are a time of simplicity and inner reflection. They are a time for us to turn inward and look at ourselves, as though in a mirror. Who are we, really? What do our thoughts and our speech teach us about who we are? What do we learn about our true priorities when we consider where we invest our time, energy, and money? Where do we need to grow? Where do we need to repent?

As I look at my own life, I find that I am in need of a change of heart when it comes to the way I think about God. Too often, I try to put God in a box. My ego gets the best of me and I act as though I have God all figured out. That I have God’s love – and its limits – all figured out. That I understand God’s work and plan for this world. Today, I am repenting of that arrogance. Instead, I choose to believe what our scriptures say – that we cannot comprehend the how, how wide, how long, how high, how deep God’s love for us is (Ephesians 3:18) and that God’s peace surpasses all our understanding (Philippians 4:7). I invite you to dwell in the mystery with me. Let’s begin by praying this prayer, written by theologian and biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann:

The God we would rather have

We are your people and mostly we don’t mind,

except that you do not fit any of our categories.

We keep pushing

and pulling

and twisting

and turning,

trying to make you fit the God we would rather have,

and every time we distort you that way

we end up with an idol more congenial to us,.

In our more honest moments of grief and pain

we are very glad that you are who you are,

and that you are toward us in all your freedom

what you have been toward us.

So be your faithful self

and by your very engagement in the suffering of the world,

transform the world even as you are being changed.

We pray in the name of Jesus,

who is the sign of your suffering love. Amen.