Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Lent is Upon Us

Ash Wednesday (February 18th) is the beginning of the Lenten Season which concludes on Easter Sunday (which begins the Easter Season).  Lent is a season for reflection, retrospection, and transformation.  It is the season where we take time to re-evaluate the level of commitment we truly have towards following Jesus.

For many, Lent is a difficult season due to the fact that it seems so gloomy, so earthen.  It is not a triumphant season in the same way Advent, Christmas, or Easter and Pentecost are.  J.C.J. Metford describes Lent this way: “A season of prayer, penance and self-discipline, beginning on the Wednesday of the seventh week before Easter, precedes the joyful celebration of Christ’s victory over death.”[1]  We Christians can so quickly fall into the trap of triumphalism, the idea we are somehow so far superior to everyone else that we forget to remember Jesus’ call to follow him and the prophetic instruction to walk with God in humility.  Lent is the time that pulls us back to earth and asks us to consider if we are truly walking with Jesus or merely taking the name of Jesus with us and little else.

One of the ways by which many Christians observe the Lenten season is to give something up - usually a vice of some sort: smoking, overeating, chocolate, etc.  But the idea behind that particular Lenten observation has become a bit watered down.  It wasn't that you gave something up (which people usually took back up once Easter arrived), but that when you gave something up you also took something else up in its place - specifically some kind of spiritual discipline that would draw you into a deeper relationship with God.  So if you give something up, you might take upon yourself the practice of a morning/daily devotion time.  You might work to develop a prayer life.  You might seek to be in the community of believers more frequently.

The point is that the time of Lent is one for growth.  It is my hope that you will take this time to do just that and, as the old hymn said, draw into a closer walk with Thee.  

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Charles

[1]  Metford, J.C.J The Christian Year p. 42

No comments:

Post a Comment