On the Lenten journey toward Easter and the renewal of our baptismal covenant, God leads us through wilderness places to reveal providential grace. Last Thursday wild snows were falling all over the eastern United States. I received anxious calls from Wagner College on Staten Island where a group of forty choristers plus some faculty and staff were trying to decide whether to make the journey to St. Luke's, the first leg of their Spring Break Chorus Concert Tour. I told them I could not assure them a safe journey. But I could promise that by God's grace we would feed them well, provide beds for the night, and someone would turn up for any concert they were able to give. They made the journey, arriving several hours later than planned. Dinner was ready and heartily enjoyed. A splendid concert was enjoyed by about 30 people who braved the roads, And generous accommodations were provided by families from St. Luke's and Carl Sandburg Middle School.
It is amazing that by God's grace there are oases in the desert. Jesus calls them resting places, or mansions. We call them churches, congregations. Everywhere you go the church stands ready by God's grace, to give rest to the weary, food to the hungry, and revive the heart with song and prayer. A reminder that even in the depths of Lent, no matter what sort of wilderness God may lead you through, if we will make the journey, God will provide life giving baptismal blessing.