Hallowed or hollow?

MARCH 07, 2019


Snake Hill, Owenton, KY

Snake Hill, Owenton, KY

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way to the place where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” 

The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Jn 14:1–7). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.


It seems like we just finished celebrating the seasons of Christmas and Epiphany and here we are entering into the season of Lent. The smudges of Ash Wednesday services have been washed away and the journey to Jerusalem begins. The cross is looming in the distance, but we aren’t quite there—yet. Do we really know how to get to…? Where is our destination any way? And what does one carry on such a journey? For those of us who are GPS challenged, the uncertainty of the destination seems overwhelming. We’re not sure we know the way. We are especially unsure of how to prepare. Some of us may need to put something down. Some of us may need to pick something up. Either way, it’s time to pack in a purposeful manner. It’s time to simplify what we are carrying, or setting down. Less is definitely better for this journey.

The destination seems to require our entire focus, but it’s the journey that holds sway. The path our journey takes is the Way of Jesus. There is no other way. What ever you take, make sure you pack light, have your hands free, and are ready, or is the better word willing, to hear the still, small voice of God. If we don’t follow the Way of Jesus we are guaranteed to, at best, get disoriented; at worst, to become completely lost. The Way of Jesus is the only Way. It is a journey of humility, trust, and obedience. It is the difference between a hallowed journey and a hollow journey.


Holy, merciful God, prepare our hearts, our minds, our souls, and our bodies for this sacred journey with Your Son and our Savior, Jesus. Help us to pack prayerfully and purposely. Guide and direct us along the way—the Way of Jesus—so that we don’t become lost. May this time between ashes and the cross be as much about the  journey as it is about the destination. And may our journey in and through Your name be hallowed—now, and for ever more. We pray this after the manner of Your Son and our Savior, Jesus the Christ. Amen.