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Preparing for Lent

Lent

So we are on the doorstep of my favorite season of the church year—Lent.  I have heard from pastors that Lent is too depressing for them, that they wish they could just jump over this season, but I LOVE IT.

Something about Lent and Easter captivates me.  I appreciate that it hasn’t been hijacked by the commercial world just yet, at least not to the same degree Christmas has.  I find this season to be empowering and hopeful.  The focus is largely introspective, as we consider and evaluate our relationship with God. We give something up, we spend more time in scripture, we pray more… for some this can seem dull or too demanding.  For me it is freeing and centering.  I find my best self during Lent and it carries me through the rest of the year. During Lent I become courageous.  During Lent I become focussed.  During Lent I am more keenly aware of what God is doing.  It is largely because I know that I can do ANYTHING for 40 days.  ANYTHING!  So tasks that seem too daunting, or sacrifices that seem too big, or commitments that are too lofty— all of it is possible during Lent.

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Spiritual Garage Sales

Lent is a time for us to de-clutter our lives, to cleanse our spirits, to rid our selves of the emotional “junk” that is keeping us from being able to breathe deeply and connect with God on a meaningful level.

Garage SaleSpring is in the air!  The last few days have been beautiful and the hope of warmer weather appears to be becoming a reality.  Along with the grass greening up and the birds’ songs being in the air, garage sails are beginning to pop up too!

Oh the garage sale… a time to purge.  As spring cleaning gets underway families and individuals begin to gather their unused goodies and put them out for others to peruse and hopeful snatch up for a great deal.  Its a time to look at our closets and determine if we really need 12 pairs of sneakers, or the sweater that hasn’t fit for years, maybe we can part with the TV in the basement that isn’t getting used.  It is amazing how freeing letting go of “stuff” can be.

I am reminded of the words of Matthew 6: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust — consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

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Spiritual Well Check


 I have heard Lent explained as a “Spring Cleaning”, a “time of reflection”, a self imposed“journey through the wilderness”, but yesterday I couldn’t help but see the last few weeks as a spiritual “well check” for my faith.

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It is hard for me to accept that my oldest is five.  Micah’s birthday was a couple months back now, but it was just yesterday that he went in for his annual well check.  Instead of the basic height/weight check and minor questions about his development, this year as he prepares to enter Kindergarten in the fall the doctor’s office had a slew of activities lined up for him to check his development more in-depth and ensure that he would be ready for the rigors of elementary school.  He loved it!  He got to wear cool glasses and got quizzed on shapes, he listened for “beeps”, he played catch with Dr. Reynolds, all in all he had a great time.  Well, until the nurse came in with the shots.  His happy demeanor quickly changed.  After tears and great protest, he came through that step as well.  Once the shots were over he realized that the shot wasn’t as big of a deal as he anticipated.  He apologized to the nurse, thanked her for the sucker and we were on our way, ready to tackle Kindergarten and reassured that he was developing on track.

Here we are in the last week of Lent, approaching Palm Sunday and Holy Week.  As I brought Micah back from his “well check” I couldn’t help but compare his visit with the doctor and staff to our own lenten journeys.  I have heard Lent explained as a “Spring Cleaning”, a “time of reflection”, a self imposed“journey through the wilderness”, but yesterday I couldn’t help but see the last few weeks as a spiritual “well check” for my faith.

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