Lent begins on Wednesday February 10 with Ash Wednesday. It is a time for 40 days of fasting, prayer, meditation, and self-examination. It runs through Holy Week. Lent is a time when we turn our gaze toward Good Friday and ask ourselves, ‘what did I do to force someone who loves me this much to go through something this awful?’ We see this scene and ask, ‘Lord, what can I do to stop this? How can I lighten Your burden, how can I love you better?’.
So we change our pattern of living to bring it more in line with what God calls us to be. We choose to give up something that we do a lot of, that we find pleasure in. (For instance, a favorite food, or video games, or computer.) This is done as a discipline, and as a reminder of what our true pleasures are as followers of Christ.
We also set out to add something to our lives. The kind of something that follows on what Jesus asks of us.( For example, I always add writing notes for different reasons at a set time each day, or I add reading or journaling.)
We set out to reconcile ourselves to those we don’t like, or even hate, or did something bad to, or just intentionally stayed away from. We do random acts of kindness to people, just because they are there – little tastes of God’s love.
But even with all that, we fail, as we always do. Which brings us to the other realization: We can’t do anything to fix our relationship with God. Our best efforts fall far short. We end up driving another nail into Jesus, making Him go through an even harder torture. Thus, ultimately, all we can do is leave it all with GOD. And trust.
Lent is the season of choosing to experience this, daily, bodily, deliberately. In Lent, we take responsibility for our sinful acts and thoughts. Lent is self-discovery, of the parts of ourselves we don’t want to discover, through prayer, fasting, and other disciplines. It is the opening up, the turning over to God, the repenting of our sins, the turning away from that which is not pleasing to God. Even more than that, it is the realization that we fail even with our very best efforts. But there is just that faint glimpse of Easter through the clouds of Good Friday — that Christ has taken the burden, and you don’t have to carry it anymore. Do you want to follow?
In Lent, we look at our own role in bringing about Jesus’ death. We uncover our own sin, and realize how weak and two-faced we are in facing it. We turn to God, who is the only One with the power to change us. During the Paschal (or ‘Holy’) Week which ends Lent, we relive how Christ was seized, abandoned, and led to His death.
In Easter (or ‘Resurrection Sunday’), we celebrate God’s answer : Humanity killed Jesus, but He didn’t stay dead! We are forgiven!
I invite you to join us on Sunday mornings for worship. I invite you to fellowship with us on Wednesday evenings for soup and a time to Fellowship together. Feb.17 Favorite Bible Stories/ Book marks Feb. 24 Lent is…/Wax paper crosses March 2 Lent game/ Bead bracelets March 9 Story of Peace Cranes/ Origami cranes March 16 Holy Week Symbols/Mandalas
Looking to a meaningful Lent!