LENT 2015 :: An Intro
Lent has become my favorite liturgical season. Not because it’s fun and festive but because it has produced the most significant spiritual growth in my life. One of my proposals is that every liturgical season is a gift from God that enables a person to become fully human and experience spiritual growth in particular ways. Lent is the space we are given that allows us to experience temptation, difficulty and dryness. We are reminded during Lent that God is not distant when God is quiet and that our difficulty isn’t necessarily because of a problem but rather it may be a preparation.
Either way, because you are human, because you are dust and to dust you will return, you will experience not only the good but the difficult and tempting parts of life.
Lent is God’s gift to us, creating space to experience this while affirming His love for us as He did in the life of Jesus. So in all of this we share in His suffering and are prepared to participate in His resurrection.
There is a lot more to Lent but those are my thoughts for today. I wrote a little Lent devotional book if you want to read a bit more. Here is the intro to that book which will briefly introduce you, if you’re not familiar to some of the Lenten basics… I also plan on blogging every Wednesday about Lent and my experience.
Lent is the time in the Christian year that leads us to Easter and our celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. For most of my Christian life, I was aware of Lent but didn’t engage in the creative aspects Christians have participated in for hundreds of years. However, for the past several years, my engagement in Lenten exercises has provided water for my thirsty soul. Lent is usually a period marked by prayer, penitential activities, helping those in need and radical self-denial. I have simplified those ideas in my own life focusing on three things. With the hope and expectation of participating in the resurrection, during Lent I will: • add something, • subtract something, and • spend intentional time in self examination.
And here is a prayer to begin your Lenten season (and I hope you will find a community to experience an Ash Wednesday service today. You won’t regret it.)
From the 1979 Book of Common Prayer Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.