Lent is an old English word for Springtime. Spring is a time for renewal and rebirth. We see the earth give rebirth as the snow and ice give way to the warmth of the sun. Bringing forth buds on the trees and the bright colors of crocuses, lilies and daffodils bring joy and smiles to those who witness their blooms. Life is resurrected from winters icy grip.
Lent is a penitential season as we hear the call of God reaching out for us to return, to turn around and reaffirm our baptism. Lent is a 40 day (not including Sundays) period paralleling the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness. It is a time to reaffirm our baptism recognizing that we are loved and saved by only the grace of God through our Lord Jesus. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, the darkest day of the church calendar. A day we recognize our unworthiness of God’s love. We bear the ashen cross not as a sign of pride but as one of a repentant believer who recognizes without God we are nothing.
The Lenten journey leads us to the final 7 days (Holy Week) where we witness the suffering and sacrifice Jesus makes for us. We are brought to the foot of the cross and witness the death of Christ and quietly celebrate just how much God loves us. Ultimately, we find ourselves at the tomb and like Mary find that it is empty only to encounter the resurrected Jesus.
Lent is a time of introspection, prayer, fasting and almsgiving. There are those who find it helpful to fast from many things such as no chocolate, or alcohol, or refraining from being on social media. While fasting is a great spiritual practice I want to encourage everyone to consider “taking on” something such as doing at least one kind gesture for someone everyday or making room in your busy day for 15 minutes of meditation or reading scriptures. Think of something that doesn’t center on oneself but how one might enhance another. Consider how the community of St. David’s may grow during this time of Lent. How one might prepare and be ready for change when a new rector is called. Join us on Wednesday as we rediscover our interconnections with sister congregations and the ministry we share as the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan. Find renewal this Lent as we journey to the cross and find life in the resurrected Christ.
May God’s Spirit turn our hearts to the light and love of Jesus.
Your Servant in Christ,