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Sundays, Feb 21-March 28
Let our journey be a perpetual one. Let us die to the world daily. Let us say with the apostle,
“I die every day.”
- 1 Cor 15:31.
The Season of Lent
In the season of Lent, we enter into the 40-day fast that Jesus undertook in the wilderness. Through this dedicated period of prayer and self-examination we invite, we open ourselves to God - to allow him to further shape us into the image of Christ. Moving ever closer toward Holy Week and the event of the crucifixion, we surrender our hearts to God to better know Christ's suffering, his surrender and his ultimate sacrifice, for our sake.
The season begins with Ash Wednesday, when we receive the imposition of ashes and are reminded we are but dust and to dust we shall return. During this season, we observe chosen forms of fasting, prayer, service or charity for 40 days, except Sundays, which are considered feast days, year-round.
Figuring out how to keep a holy Lent can be a challenge, but if we move beyond the popular conceptions (and misconceptions), Lent holds the possibility for real change — or to use the church’s word, conversion — in our lives, as well as for rich and lasting spiritual growth.
Lent emerged in our history as a season of final preparation for those who would be baptized at the Great Vigil of Easter. The entire Christian community was highly invested in walking alongside those who were about to commit their lives to Christ. In time, the season took on some extra layers of meaning, and many people now associate it with listening for a deeper awareness of our own failings — how we fall short of the ideals God sets before us — and the need for ongoing repentance and amendment of life. In Lent we step back and consider the ways we need to repent, to turn around — to be converted.
The word “lent” comes from the Anglo-Saxon word lencton, referring to the springtime of the year when the days grow longer and warmer and brighter. Lent, then, is an opportunity to deepen our spiritual practice and accountability in preparation for the renewal of spirit and life, through Christ our Lord, that is to come.
How are we living Christ’s teaching and example in our own lives, in our homes, our churches, our cities, our schools, our places of work?
In what ways have we fallen short, grown stagnant or cold-hearted, or failed to love God by embracing each life as a Divine life, whenever and however we encounter it?
And finally, once we have taken sober and truthful stock of our current spiritual life, we ask with a clear heart: What growth or signs of renewal in our life, in the world, can we whole-heartedly celebrate with gratitude and joy?
These are the kinds of questions we ask ourselves in prayer, in meditation, in quiet reflection during the weeks of Lent.
Daily Prayer for All Seasons - The Episcopal Church’s abbreviated BCP (free download) https://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/document/daily-prayer-all-seasons
Sacred Ordinary Days - by Jenn Giles Kemper https://sacredordinarydays.com/