The God of Christmas is the God of Lent

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“Know that I am with you and will keep you, wherever you go” (Gen 28:15)
“Even if I sin?”
Especially then.”

The conversation (related with permission) between Our Lord and a retreatant of several years ago plays in my ears through the days of Lent like the refrain of a song.

We have barely come through the Christmas season, have barely begun to realize that God, Emmanuel, is with us, by an irrevocable choice to become human. Our delight in the vulnerable baby of Bethlehem gives a “high” that lasts a long time. Lent, however, may bring us down a bit as we look inward and wonder if we will ever control our procrastination or anger or addictions.

It is not so hard to find God in the fire of a sunset or the expanse of the Grand Canyon or the fragility of a violet. But what about the “lowly” places of life—the experience of failure and powerlessness and sin? And will our efforts ever make a difference as we accompany others through those places?

At Christmas, we saw that God could become helpless. In the Lenten season, we realize that the same God is committed to be with us in our helplessness, as an ally, a support, a co-sufferer, “wherever [we] go,” even— in fact especially—when we sin.



Rosemary Jermann is a Spiritual Reflectors for IVC St. Louis.  She is an adjunct faculty member at Saint Louis University and also serves as an editor and contributor to Review for Religious.

2 Responses to “The God of Christmas is the God of Lent”

  1. Marilyn McGartland

    ” Where is God in all this…..?”, my spiritual facilitator often asks.

    On Good Friday, the choir chanted ” Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live.”

    I agree, That is the answer.

  2. Martin

    Well, no. I suppose one could lean on the cocpnet that the God who is love is the source of love, but in the end, it seems to me that love as enabled by God must be wrapped up in life and new birth anything but second hand.


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