These words from a familiar hymn are a reminder of the reason for the season of Lent: over a period of 40 days, we undertake a spiritual journey deep into ourselves with our eyes focused on the Cross, and hopefully rediscover – or discover for the first time – the glory and the victory which are ours because of what Jesus did for us. It is a time of renewal when we can commit to the work of laying our whole lives down for Christ. Hopefully, that is what Lent, 2022, will be for all of us.
Lent is the span of time in the church calendar that starts with Ash Wednesday on March 2nd and ends with the celebrations of The Great Vigil of Easter. Lent provides us a time to reflect, repent, and pray as a way of preparing our hearts to receive the gift of life, which is the promise of Easter. As Episcopalians, we observe Lent, though not every Christian denomination does, as an opportunity for us to focus our thoughts on Jesus Christ and our call to discipline ship in the power of the Spirit.
Some of us will begin Lent by marking our foreheads with ash as a symbol of sorrow and mourning over our sin. The first few verses of Job 42 show us an example of ashes used as a symbol of repentance. Some of us will choose to give up a habit or behavior during Lent as an exercise in prayerful self-denial (see the article later in this newsletter) involving something as simple as not drinking our favorite beverage during Lent to an all-out program of fasting.
We can also commit to a special devotional activity – daily Scripture reading, regular prayer for a specific person or topic throughout Lent, or volunteer work in their community. A full range of opportunities is available on our Christian Formation website at https://www.journeyinfaith-stlukeslebanon.org/lent-2022-walk-with-purpose.html.
The choice to observe Lent is a personal one—the whole point is to focus your heart and mind on Jesus during the journey to Easter. There’s no requirement to observe it, but it is always spiritually rewarding. Anglicans and other Christians around the globe observe Lent each year; if you’ve never done so, I’d invite you to try it in 2022. Whether you observe Lent in a small or major way, you’ll be amazed at what happens when you devote a part of each day to reflecting on Jesus Christ and God’s Word.
I pray that our Lenten season of 2022 will be one of wonder, meditation, and communal support as we remember and worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Source: Rector’s Blog