It has begun.
The season of Lent.
Perhaps not our favorite season because it leads along a pathway we don’t necessarily enjoy.
We who know the story know what lies ahead.
Some call it a crucifixion.
Some call it a gift.
But how can it be that a man gives up his life, and it becomes a gift for the likes of me?
If we take the time to use this season of Lent to reflect on the Word of God, the power of His love, and the hope we have in Him, it is not so hard to believe.
But we don’t like Lent. It requires us to be more quiet than usual, somehow more reverent it seems, and we want to be scurrying about planning Easter dinner, preparing baskets of goodies for the kids, and planting spring flowers.
We don’t have time to be reflective, to be slower than usual. We don’t want to take the time to reflect.
Sometimes it seems our lives are controlled by mechanisms so cleverly built and planned that they too take our time, in addition to jobs and family and so much more.
Some of the time in which we might reflect. Can we just put aside looking every time
- We hear that little ditty on our phones that signifies a text just came in?
- Or the alarm on our computer that says, “You’ve got mail?”
- Or can we go a day without watching TV?
- What about no social media?
These are all things that are so common in our days, so taken for granted as part of who we are and what we are about. And we often allow them to hinder our focus on God.
But shouldn’t we be more about God’s gifting to us eternal life? Gifting to us the only Son He had? Giving us the promise of forgiveness?
God who loves us unconditionally, accepting our flaws, mistakes and yes, our sins without question?
The following poem by Ann Weems speaks to the season of Lent, and I suggest that perhaps we are found in her words:
by Ann Weems
Those of us who walk along this road
do so reluctantly.
Lent is not our favorite time of year.
We’d rather be more active—
planning and scurrying around.
All this is too contemplative to suit us.
Besides we don’t know what to do
with piousness and prayer.
Perhaps we’re afraid to have time to think,
for thoughts come unbidden.
Perhaps we’re afraid to face our future
knowing our past.
Give us courage, O God,
to hear your word
and to read our living into it.
Give us the trust to know we’re forgiven,
and give us the faith
to take up our lives and walk.
– from Kneeling in Jerusalem, by Ann Weems. ©1992 Westminster/John Knox Press
Once again, we are in a time of waiting and preparation.
It takes patience to wait.
It takes commitment to wait.
REFLECTION: What will you do with this time? Will you honor God by giving Him an extra measure of you during this season? Will you take time to reflect on God’s goodness to us?