#LentLite: Understood and Transformed

Larissa Kwong Abazia (@LarissaLKA on Twitter) returns to offer her reflections for #LentLite (check out Day Twelve and Day Twenty of the Advent devotional). Larissa is a 2.5 generation Chinese American pastor whose work centers around building relationships within and around church communities. She is anxiously awaiting and striving toward God’s beloved community. On the hardest days, building a future in which her son and those who experience the world like him can thrive, keeps her going.

Last year I entered a dark sanctuary on Easter morning. As the call to worship concluded and the first hymn began, the large shutters covering the windows opened and sunlight burst into the room, blinding us with brilliance. I began to cry uncontrollably and had to walk out. Catching my breath and wiping the tears away, I re-entered the sanctuary only to be overcome by the light once again. I left the sanctuary for a second time, sobbing. I sat on the bench and tried to compose myself before touching the doorknob, taking a deep breath, and opening the door into the sacred space one more time.

I didn’t make it back in for worship that Easter.

I never realized how much I needed the companionship of strangers until journeying #FuckThisShit in Advent. Somehow, the holy child was born again in the midst of rawness. I felt like I could sing because so many others enveloped my senses within the visceral passion of what holy waiting truly entails. I didn’t feel alone or silenced, I felt understood and transformed. My hollowness was filled up with new life in ways that I did not think possible. Even when Advent, Christmas and Epiphany passed, somehow knowing that each one of you were out there birthing hope, peace, joy and love with your activism made each day a bit more bearable.

So now I need to believe that the tomb might just be a tomb. I am ready to walk through Lent and Holy Week as though the worst of who we are will lead to the execution of Jesus Christ. Because only by doing so will the brilliance of the empty tomb remind me of the power of the Holy One who can conquer death.

Only then will I celebrate that we are not worthy of the exact Love that came for us anyway.

#BurnItAllDown

To convey a visceral Gospel, we must sometimes use visceral…

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