Each Spring we walk out of the grey and dark of our annual ‘winter’ and begin to see the colors of life again. As a metaphor and a real-life anticipation, Spring brings hope and warmth to our worn hearts and frozen fingertips. It also provides us with a traditional time to reflect and consider.
Lent is the tradition of reflection, self-denial and realignment. A time to consider carefully what is ‘driving’ us, examining our motives, habits and excesses as we look to truth of our saviors example and the power of the cross to break the power of sin, death, and despair in our lives.
It’s a forty day period between ‘Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday that culminates in the Holy Week before Easter including “Good Friday”. It parallels the traditional 40 day period that Jesus spent in the desert in fasting and prayer, resisting temptation from the devil. A time after His baptism and immediately before His public ministry began.
Symbolically it allows for us to simplify our lives for a few weeks each year, to sacrifice something of ‘comfort’ as a gentle reminder of the terrible pain and suffering our savior willingly endured for our souls to be saved. It does NOT provide us with a ‘higher’ standing in heaven or a better rank with God for our piety, but it can provide a much clearer perspective on our lives as they are now, and the lives we’re called to live as Christ-followers.
Not a guilt trip or a legalistic exercise, Lent is a time to grow inwardly. A time of intimate conversation with God and the Holy Spirit. A season for us to slow and still ourselves. To read more and talk less, to listen and hear what can only be heard in absolute quiet.
I believe if you make the effort to reflect… God will make you brand new. Just like a spring flower about to bloom, your heart can be refreshed and infused with vibrant new color…
May this Spring be refreshing to your heart and renewing to your mind as we all learn how to begin again.
To read more about Christian traditions and celebrating the Holy Days, check out the AMiA (Anglican Mission in America) blog site.