Lean Harder

The Rt. Rev. Craig Loya

Lean Harder

“Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves . . .”
--Book of Common Prayer, pg. 218

Beloved in Christ,

I really dislike asking for help. I like to think of myself as competent and capable, and I’m enough of a midwesterner that I hate the idea that I might be inconveniencing others. When I have to ask for help, which is a lot these days, I hate it, but it’s good for my soul, and one way Jesus is trying to heal this stubborn disciple. 

The whole root of human sin is our inclination to trust in ourselves and our own power, rather than learning to depend on God. Remember, the temptation that hooked our first parents in the garden was “eat this fruit, and you will be like God.” “You won’t need anyone else, you’ll be able to do it all on your own." We’ve been trying to do that ever since. 

Lent is about practicing dependence on God, rather than insisting we can do it alone. The point of this is not to feel shame or inadequacy, but to find true freedom which can only be found in a life given over fully to the power of God. 

The world around us is full of suffering, injustice, and despair. War continues to cause unimaginable suffering in Gaza and Ukraine, the vitriolic rhetoric of an election year is shifting into high gear, the planet stands on a dangerous precipice of climate change which threatens the future of life as we know it, and on and on. We can and should witness, wail, and work toward the future God longs for. 

But we are not in charge of holding it all together on our own. The healing we and the whole world cries out for won’t be found because we work hard enough. Our work, our witness, our wailing, can only be faithful if it is yoked to the unstoppable power of the living God. Lent is a time we tighten the tether. Lent is a time we learn to lean on God harder, so that our efforts are swept up into an Easter bursting with the full, abundant, new life that only God can give. 

Grace and peace,
The Right Revered Craig Loya