Observing Lent

This year, I’m really excited about observing the season of Lent. I have high expectations for it- my desire is to take this time to reflect, repent, and cultivate a deeper intimacy with God. There’s something really unifying about this season as well…knowing that there are thousands, maybe millions, of Christians all over the world seeking God in a similar way that creates this sense of anticipation of what can and will happen in my life personally and in the life of the church globally.

While reading for my church history class, I came upon the background of the observance of Lent. Apparently in the 3rd-ish century, Easter was celebrated as a time to baptize new converts and to renew the vows of baptism for those who were already Christians. So, in the days leading up to Lent, the church would have a time of fasting and penance in order to prepare for this joyous and celebratory occasion.

How many times do we take time out of our busy schedules to just slow down, reflect, talk to, and seek the Lord intentionally on a daily basis? I used to do it a lot more than I do know (before kids), so I’m excited about this time that I’m intentionally setting aside in order to re-cultivate a sense of closeness with the Father, as well as reflect on the state of my inner self.

Where is there unnoticed sin in my life?
What often stands between me and the peace of God?
Why dynamics are at play in my intentions and desires for the now?
What values am I espousing as I live my life?
Are those values what God values, or are they different?
How have I been participating in social injustice? How has the church at large?
How can I life more fully with those around me, being the minister of grace and reconciliation that I am called to be?

There are just some of the questions I want to be reflecting on as I proceed through these days leading up to Easter. I’m reading through Henri Nouwen’s Show Me the Way Lenten devotional as a guide. My prayer is that this would be a deeply transformational time for myself, my family, and the greater Church.

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