Moment for Reflection- Penitence or Preparation?
As I write this brief reflection, we are one week into the season of Lent (and it is 70 degrees on February 21st!), and I am looking forward to the first of our worship and dinner series this evening. I have always enjoyed this season in the life of our church, and I have heard from many of you who say the same thing, or even that Lent is a favorite season.
These conversations and my own love of the season of Lent have me wondering what it is about this season that make us enjoy it so much? Perhaps it is something contained in the metaphor of the wilderness; that Lent is a time for joining Jesus out in the desert, or the Israelites in their wanderings through the wilderness. Perhaps we can appreciate the feeling of being on our way toward something, but not being there yet.
Similarly, we might appreciate Lent as a time of preparation and anticipation. In the ancient Christian church, Lent was primarily a time for new Christians to prepare for their baptisms, a time of learning and study, a practice that still thrives in the form of weekday evening discussion or worship series (like the one tonight!).
Or perhaps we are drawn to Lent for the penitential nature it has taken on over time as well. There is something powerful about the idea of an entire season dedicated to repentance, change, and transformation. Seen this way, Lent can be a springboard from which to jump into a lasting change in our lives, something new to be celebrated along with the promise of new life given to us in the empty tomb of Easter.
Whatever it is that draws you to this season, I wish you a blessed Lent.
God's peace be with you always.