You've arrived to the fourth week of Lent!
This week, the object for your altar and to guide your reflection is a small stone
One of my favourite places is Meteora in central Greece. The region is made up of towering rock formations and cliffs that make it seem like earth is reaching up into heaven; the clouds among the rocks reminding me of God's presence dwelling among the people of Israel like a cloud above the tabernacle.
It's understandable that monks have lived in the cliffs of Meteora since ancient times and monasteries were built high on the rock spires in the 12th-14th centuries. Who wouldn't want to live with God on top of the stones that seem to reach into the heavens?
The truth of God dwelling with humanity is that we don't have to go live in a cave high on the cliffside. The cloud of God's presence guided the Hebrew people and stopped to camp where the people camped. The scripture above concludes Matthew's Gospel with Christ's promise to be ever-present with us. The mystery of our Triune God means that in some way God is in humanity by becoming flesh in Jesus, and we are all in the presence of God at all times.
So, as much as I would love to visit those towering rocks with you and see the beauty that draws our attention to God, let's instead put a small stone in our pockets or on our side table or altar this week. And let's remember that God dwells with us in the valleys and on the tops of the cliffs ... always; even to the end of the age.
Rest assured that you are held in the grace of God and in my prayers,