Thanks Galen Pearl and to all Enjoy the reading!
When Marie asked me to write a guest post about Lent, I almost declined. Although my faith community is Christian, I feel unqualified to speak with any knowledge or experience about a church season that often passes beneath my spiritual radar. Wouldn’t someone with better Christian credentials than I have be a better spokesperson? No doubt.
And yet, who better than a person with imperfect faith to speak about a season of reflection, penance, and devotion? Maybe I’m exactly the kind of person that spiritual seasons like Lent are meant to call.
Lent comprises a period of forty days before Easter when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ. The specific spiritual practices during Lent vary from one church to another and even among individuals within a church. At one time, Lent was a period of strict fasting, much like Ramadan or Yom Kippur. However, in modern times, there is much variety. Some people give up their favorite food or a particular activity. Others commit to a special practice, like daily Lent devotions or contemplative prayer.
At my church, there are weekly evening worship services during Lent. In addition, there are weekly classes to study scripture or other readings related to this season of deepening our faith and our relationship with God. There are devotional booklets available for those wanting to follow a daily practice.
Someone said that observing Lent is like spring cleaning our lives. We make an honest assessment of our shortcomings and purify our spirits in recognition and appreciation of the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf. It’s a time to prepare to receive anew the gift of redemption.
In its broadest sense, I think it is a time to reaffirm our faith, to refocus our inner vision on what is sacred, to humble ourselves before God, to open our hearts so that divine love can fill us up until we see all people as our brothers and sisters.
For indeed they are.