These Sundays might remind us that Lent is not about arriving at Easter. Neither is our Christian life about arriving at resurrection. It is about remembering and recommitting ourselves to being the church.
Each Sunday of Lent we remember the people of God have been her before, making this journey generation by generation: after the flood, in the calling of Abram, at Sinai, in the wilderness, during the exile, and ultimately in the new covenant made on the cross. Each time God has renewed and expanded the covenant, drawing us deeper and deeper into grace. Revealing over and over there is no sin, darkness, or death that cannot be redeemed. Proclaiming over and over there is no ultimate arrival, just the proclamation over and over again that God is with us and working through us every step of the way. The endless exploration of the vast and wondrous meaning of incarnation.
We keep returning to Easter changed from the people who were here just a year, or a Sunday before. With new insights brought on by Ferguson, ISIS, Ebola, and so on into who we are now, and the next steps God is leading us to take in his Name.
We will keep rising to the challenge. Renewing and deepening our understanding and commitment by drawing the sacraments through the incarnational mud of our lives. Cleansing this temple again and again. Not in order to arrive at some final purified ultimate Easter. And not to avoid the need to struggle. But striving in every battle with sin to draw and reveal Easter light, life, and hope through every darkness, every death, every heart. We are the church. This is what God is doing through us.