The Herb Of Grace

Theology and Poetry, Politics and Prose

Ash Wednesday, February 25th in the Season of Lent February 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joel @ 2:27 pm

Welcome to another round of daily readings!  Last time we contemplated the season of Advent, now we turn our attention to the season of Lent and all that it has to offer us in terms of preparing our hearts for the risen One.  Please feel free to share these readings with anyone who you think might benefit!

Ash Wednesday, February 25th in the Season of Lent

If the resurrection of Jesus is the greatest thing to have ever happened, then our preparation for it must be equal to the task. This is what the season of Lent is for.  This is the season for letting addictions go, for purifying our hearts (as much as we can), for asking for forgiveness from people and God.  It is also the season for becoming serious about neglected aspects of the faith.   In general, the end goal of this season is that Jesus would find us, his community, in a posture of healthy self-awareness and humility when he steps out of that tomb on Resurrection morning.

Lent is famous in many circles for being that time of the year when you can’t eat chocolate, obviously this is an abstraction from the real celebration.  We must have a better reason than “you’re just not supposed to” If we are to prepare to receive and celebrate the resurrected Lord.

Additionally, for Lent to really be Lent, we must celebrate it in community.  Just as we are not the body of Christ by ourselves but only when two or more believers are gathered together, so Lent is nothing when it is confined to the narrowness of an individuated faith.  This means sharing the burden and blessing of the things you “take on” or “give up.”  In this way, we all witness to each other that Jesus is worth getting prepared for.

In line with Lent’s focus on repentance and self-examination, the meditations for this time are dedicated to some of the sweetest parts of Jesus’ experience and character: suffering and humility.  In this way we prepare ourselves, not only for a life of imitation where the Spirit will make us “Church,” but for the time when Jesus will say to us, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”  We hope, by the power of the Holy Spirit and by the fruit of our determination that we will be on the better side of that story.

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and continues for 40 days (not counting the six Sundays within Lent) until its end on Holy Saturday.  The 40 days are used specifically as tools for the Church to imaginatively enter the temptations of Jesus in the desert.

– Joel Mason

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