As we come to the start of another Lenten journey I wanted to share some reasons why I like to use this time to reflect on my relationship with Jesus. I need to make it clear (again) that Lent is not something we 'have to do', but it is a very helpful practice that keeps me focused on the cross of Christ. Let me start with this quote from Catherine Doherty first:
"Lent is a time of going very deeply into ourselves... What is it that stands between us and God? Between us and our brothers and sisters? Between us and life, the life of the Spirit? Whatever it is, let us relentlessly tear it out, without a moment's hesitation."
So, Lent calls me to the following:
1. To Remember I am mortal and that I am called to honour God with my every breath.
2. To remember that Jesus died for my sake and that by choosing to follow him I am aligning myself with his call, values and life.
3. To remember that life is busy and it easily distracts me from the things of eternal value. By pausing for a moment, each day, I am drawn back into the world of Jesus and am choosing to ask myself 'kingdom' questions.
4. To prepare for the experience of Good Friday and Easter Sunday is essential for me. This weekend marks the cornerstone of our faith and to stumble into the weekend seems sacreligious for me. Just as I spend months training and preparing to run the Comrades Marathon, so I feel I need to do something significant in my walk with Jesus. Lent offers me a space to do this.
5. Lent reminds me that I am part of a global Christian community and God is interested in us as a "Church". My personal response to Jesus is shaped by those around me and this also impacts upon my call to serve God in the world.
I hope this makes sense. Let me know the reason why you choose to mark Lent (or even why you choose not to)
Living in Grace