The Time of Lent
We have entered a time between Ash Wednesday and Resurrection Sunday or Easter. For Christians, it is a journey from Transfiguration Sunday, where we remember the disciples seeing Jesus in a new way, a fuller way. Then we move on to Ash Wednesday, where we recognize our mortality and that God is sovereign over us even in death. Then is the time of Lent. This is a time of reflection, of focus on the path Christ took to the cross, and of meditation on God’s grand plan for humanity.
For some, Lent becomes a time where they give up something to focus more on God. Some add a new spiritual practice or discipline during the Lenten season. For myself, I have done both. I have given up desserts or meat, and whenever I think about eating these things, I spend a few moments in prayer. Not just about removing the temptation from my thoughts and mind but also focusing on Christ. But what I have often found more impactful in my spiritual journey is not giving some like sweets or meat up is adding a practice.
Adding a spiritual practice during Lent is a great way to reconnect with God and remember Christ’s journey to the cross. I have done simple things like reading a different Psalm each morning and spending some time in reflection. I have added the practice of journaling to my daily routine and saw how God was speaking to me through my thoughts as expressed on the screen. I have added different practices of prayer or scripture reading as well.
I believe that adding something to your spiritual life during the time of Lent is a great way to celebrate the season. Because of the great mysteries of the faith is that Lent, which seems like such a dark time, that culminates in Good Friday and Holy Saturday, two of the darkest days of the liturgical year, lead us to Resurrection Sunday! When it seemed like death had the final word, life sprang forth. When it seemed like chaos and decay were going to win, order and renewal came out of the grave. It seemed like hatred and violence were the only tools, but love and harmony showed they had a distinctive, mysterious power because we worship a God of life and peace.
My challenge to you this Lenten season is to add something to your spiritual routine that adds life, energy, and hope to you and your world. Add the practice of painting the beautiful creation that God has given us. Add more time in prayer to connect with the sustainer of life. Add inviting whomever you meet to church. Add something to remind yourself that the season of Lent does not end with Good Friday but with Resurrection Sunday! A day when death was defeated. And now love rules the new day!