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Lenten Devotional: Wednesday, February 21
"Already and Not Yet" - Andover Newton's Lenten Devotional Series

"Already and Not Yet" is the 2018 Lenten Daily Devotional written by members of the Andover Newton community, which is also being shared at Facebook and on Twitter. Future posts here will include links to all the previous entries for easy browsing to any you might have missed or might want to revisit.

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018
“Lent in the Garden” – Tisa Wenger

It’s still February and freezing cold outside, but the days are getting longer and I have already planted my first seeds for the spring. When the weather starts to break in late March, I’ll transplant some of the seedlings outside, under cover at first to protect them from the cold.

It takes daily attention to keep them alive. Some won’t sprout, I’ll forget to water, or they’ll succumb to a heavy frost, and eventually the pests will come. Still, every year the garden is more beautiful and more productive. Every year I learn more about the fragility and the vibrancy of life, and I see myself within the web that sustains us all.

In our lives as in the garden, we wait and watch the seasons turn. We celebrate beauty, we resist the plagues of suffering and oppression, and we do our best to nurture new lives to come.

I’ve never really observed Lent, either in the Mennonite church I grew up in or the Unitarian Universalism I’ve adopted as an adult. But I learned as a child that we should model our lives after Jesus. The Jesus who loved fiercely, who challenged the powers of empire and stood up for the least of these, this Jesus I continue to find an inspiring model for my life.

The Lenten discipline I seek involves taking stock of our challenges and our failings, and recommitting to the task of nurturing a more just world.

Tisa Wenger is Associate Professor of American Religious History at Yale Divinity School and an Affiliate Faculty member for Andover Newton Seminary.​

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