“Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Philippians 4:8 (New Revised Standard Version)
Imagine that some day the weather will warm-up and your spirit will defrost. Soon the earth will move into its Vernal Equinox and life will emerge from its ice-encrusted shell. Just prior to Spring’s arrival the church will enter the season of Lent and be invited to consider the themes of sacrifice, repentance and renewal. We will once again listen to Jesus, whose 40 days and nights in the wilderness Lent recalls.
Lent is a season for us to take stock of the treasure and dross, joy and blues that influence our experience of living. Taking a personal inventory can feel like drudgery but its benefits are magnificent. There is a great deal of power in the prayerful consideration of the people in our lives, the voices we allow to influence us, the habits that change us, the memories we cling to, the goals and ambitions for which we strive. Like a good Spring house-cleaning, Lent allows us to purge the things that are no longer of value to us and make room for that which affirms the goodness of life.
As Christians we enter the season of Lent in complete humility, when Ash Wednesday reminds us of our time-bound, frail lives. Forty days of prayers and devotions call us to consider the God who made us in the Divine image. We seek to cast aside the things that manifest themselves in fear, envy, rage, lust, greed and sloth. We are freed to reconnect with what is true, honorable and just. We return from our wilderness retreat with a greater sensitivity to the Good News of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
May you know God’s presence on your Lenten journey, may you identify that which hurts you and find the strength to cast it off. May you find peace in the truth that there is a God who is with us and for us and is indeed ahead of us, calling us to lives that forever bear the image of their Creator.