Lent, from the old English, Lencten, which means the lengthening of days. Day light hours are beginning to stretch out. The sun sets later and later each day. Here in Colorado, we have a mix of snow and spring. We can have some brutal blizzards and days where the sun shines bright. March is a wonderful month.
We also begin the season of Lent. Wednesday March 2nd is Ash Wednesday. We have a service at 6:30pm that evening to place ashes on our foreheads and remind ourselves of this season of reflection.
It’s the odd thing about Lent. During these forty days spring comes rushing in with a full head of steam. Sap starts running in trees and we’ll have our first daffodils and tulips. Yet, Lent invites us to turn in, contemplate, to ruminate deep in our souls.
There are several ways to practice Lent. Here at the church, we’re going to be studying and preaching on the book of Daniel. Read a chapter a week for our Sunday messages. Our small groups are also studying the book of Daniel. Scott VanderWal is leading a spiritual retreat on Soul Care.
I encourage you during Lent to pick up a new spiritual discipline. I’m going to practice Intermittent fasting. Fasting isn’t for everyone, but for those who are interested I can guide you in some basics of what you need to do. But fasting is only one type of discipline. You can set aside a time for daily study and reflection. Some people like to do a Lenten journal where they record their spiritual thoughts.
Some people give something up for Lent, others add something for Lent. Try celebrating gratitude each day. Make it a daily discipline to do something for someone else. Each day send an uplifting text to someone. You can practice patience. Learn to sing, draw, or paint. Do something to feed your soul.
We walk through Lent to remind us of the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness fasting and praying. At the end of his time in the wilderness he had a whole new sense of self understanding. It’s the same for us. After we’ve walked through Lent, we come to Easter Sunday full of excitement and expectation, ready for a new transformed life.
Welcome to the season of Lent.