top of page
Autumn Foliage

Breakneck Ridge!

Breakneck Ridge Trail in New York is a “challenging climb” according to state park brochures and websites. And when you’re climbing it, you understand why it has the name it does. The trail winds up large bluffs and at times is significantly steep. The signs, brochures and other material remind you often to stay on the trail so that “crumbling ledges” are avoided. Still, the hike and effort are worth it! Along the trail you are treated to magnificent sweeping views of the Hudson River!

We are in the season of Lent. Lent is the forty days before Easter (not counting Sundays) beginning on Ash Wednesday. Lent is a time for self-examination, confession, spiritual exercise, discipleship training, and refreshing our perspective on what it means to follow Christ today. It is a spiritually challenging time and concludes on Easter Sunday as we celebrate Jesus’ victory. Because all Sundays are little Easters, the penitential spirit of the season should be tempered with joyful expectation of the Resurrection.

In Lent we are reminded of our radical need for God and God’s grace. There are times in our lives when following Jesus can be a challenging climb. To be a disciple (student/follower) of Jesus calls us out of our comfort zones. Following Jesus leads us into moments and times of discomfort, risk, challenge, and fret. I experienced all those feelings on Breakneck Ridge. There were moments of discomfort, especially on the really steep parts. Just being on the trail puts you at a bit of risk. (And much, much more risky when we stray from the path!) The path is challenging – in fact, as I’ve shared, the brochures literally state it’s a “challenging climb”. And, there can be times the heights and steep mountain sides might make one “fret”.

As we journey with Christ, particularly during this season of lent, we focus on the journey of discipleship. We come with humility and honesty admitting to our Lord, and ourselves, about how difficult the journey can be, how often we stumble or stray off the path – look out for “crumbling ledges”, and our Radical Need for Jesus and his Love. But the reward of following Jesus gives us great experiences of God’s love, Abundant Life, and the Vistas of seeing God’s Will being done, expressed, and lived out in each act of Mercy and every deed that brings Justice! Watching the Commonwealth of Christ grow – lives and hearts changed, people and relationships reconciled, and faith renewed and restored fills our hearts to overflowing in joy and celebration! Much like the sweeping vistas of the Hudson River afforded by the trail, the view that grace affords is breathtaking! The journey of Lent brings us to the great exultation and joy of Easter!

My prayer for you and for us as a family of faith, is that this Lent be a journey of transformation. That this lent leads you (us ) to greater love of God, deeper relationship with Jesus, the Christ, and a more devoted discipleship – powered by the Holy Spirit within us. May this Lent, through humility and obedience, bring us to Resurrective Liv- ing in joy, reconciliation, and Shalom!

Be God’s, Pastor Jim

16 views0 comments


bottom of page