Matthew 25:34. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”
As a very small child, I loved books, but I hated to color and draw—which wasn’t awesome for developing the fine motor control little hands need to write legibly. I spent a lot of extra time at home with those wide-ruled practice papers and big pencils…top line-middle line-bottom line, loops and slanted lines, scrawling my name over and over. And there, on the edges of the paper were the margins. The margins were, in my kindergarten mind, a no-man’s land of red pen marks and do-overs. Those exercises were where I learned what margins meant—an area you weren’t supposed to trespass into, because it just wasn’t done.
It’s been a long time since I’ve thought about margins in my little-kid way, but I’ve learned a lot about the other kind of margins—the sidelines of society where we shove people who don’t look or think or pray or love like the majority of the society in which they live. The prophets warn us about this and so does Jesus. They don’t mince words either.
I cannot tell you the number of emails and letters we have received from all over the place telling us how folks have come to meet Jesus in the most unexpected and unexplored places in their lives and communities. People are writing the Gospel of love all over the margins, crossing lines and boundaries and making the kingdom of God come near with their lives and relationships.
As Lent beings to loom in our minds and on the liturgical calendar, we might begin to wonder how to shape and share our Lenten disciplines; I would invite you to examine the margins in your own life and work. Jesus is there—waiting for you. You can also participate in Forward Movement’s Lenten program: Choose Lent, Choose Jesus, which features our book Meeting Jesus on the Margins as one of the reading options.
With peace and joy,
Associate Editor, Forward Movement
Today’s Flash Sale: Meeting Jesus on the Margins
Where do you meet Jesus? In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus urges us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, and visit the prisoners. And in doing so, we meet Jesus. These daily reflections for Lent, offered by well-known faith leaders, provide boots-on-the-ground stories of serving and being served by “the least of these.” The meditations also explore our own hunger, our vulnerabilities, and the times we are imprisoned, either self-imposed or by circumstance. Come and meet Jesus each day this blessed Lenten season.
Authors include: Mike Kinman, Becca Stevens, Allison Duvall, Bo Cox, Hugo Olaiz, Lee Anne Reat, and Richelle Thompson.
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How is God calling you to enter the holy season of Lent? What path will you walk during these forty days?
Forward Movement invites you to explore and respond to how Jesus is tugging at your heart. While the season of Lent calls us all into a particular period of reflection, we choose different journeys. Depending upon where we are in our own seasons of life and faith, we may be called into a time of deep introspection, contemplation, and prayer. Perhaps God is calling us to an outward focus on works of mercy. Or maybe we need a time of formation, to connect our hearts and minds as we walk in love.
We offer three broad paths built around the Way of Love, the Presiding Bishop’s call for practices that support a Jesus-centered life. Each path suggests a primary resource as well as numerous others that expand on the central theme. We offer these as guideposts, as trail markers, knowing and hoping that you will choose your own path during this Lent, and in doing so, make a choice to choose Jesus.