Thursday, February 10, 2005


Madeleine L'Engle refers to the time of Lent in the Church year as a "strange bleak season" and I couldn't agree more. It is the time when seasons are often bleak (depending on where you live) and where also, people in general, are bleak as well. It is a time to give up something--usually something meaningful--and offer it as a sacrifice to God, proving humble yet human devotion. But is there anything we can do that is worthy to God? Can we really prove our feeble, finite love to God? After all, God knows our hearts and knows that our devotion is far from pure or holy or righteous. And yet still, God accepts our broken offerings--our ashes--and sweeps them up into the sky, holding onto them as tiny treasures offered from his beloved ones. We are His beloved, but do we believe this? Do we know this? Do we live this?

Lent is a time usually ignored by most Protestant traditions and although I'm not attacking the Protestant faith--for I myself, was raised in it and appreciate so much of what it taught me--I am saying that I'm saddened that Lent was not observed by any church I grew up in. And why? Is it seen as too "Catholic" or "Anglican" or "Reformed" or "Orthodox"? I'm not sure.

But I wish I had a greater appreciation for this time of the Church calendar year because it's really hard to act like you care about something you've been missing your whole life. I want to participate in the time of Lent not to fit in, or to be spiritually savvy, but because I think it's a way of worship and love and adoration that I've been missing out on. For I don't think the time of Lent is soley about God getting glory (although surely it is) but it's about his followers, mustering up all they can offer and their best loves in life, and taking them before His open hands and simply rejoicing. This is true freedom in Christ!

Today is Ash Wednesday--the beginning of Lent--and I love what this means for all who believe. If Lent is a time to remind us of what is soon to come (Christ's suffering) and of the glory behind the corner (Christ's resurrection) and of the ultimate crowning that has come and continues to come (Christ's Ascension), let us be brushed with ashes as humbly as we can, marked as His beloved little Ones, and let us choose to love, love, love.

For 40 days, and 40 nights.

1 comment:

Chalupa said...

i'd have to say i've never really observed lent either. maybe it's time i start.