Living the Season of Lent

Where do we go from here?

The season of Lent emerged out of the practice of preparing new converts for baptism on Easter Eve or Easter Day. By the middle of the 4th century, a 40-day preparation period had been established. During that time converts fasted, and were taught the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. Later, Lent became a time for all Christians to prepare for Easter. It remains a 40-day-long period, not counting Sundays. (Sundays are considered “little Easters” celebrating the resurrection of Jesus.)

         Over the centuries many people have continued the tradition of keeping the season of  Lent as a time of reflection and an opportunity to give something up or take something on, as a means of stepping outside of the everyday. Our prayer for the season might be this:           

Loving God, help us to give up criticism, and take on praise,

Give up self-pity, and take up joy,

Give up ill temper, and take on peace,

Give up resentment, and take up contentment,

Give up pride, and take up love,

Give up selfishness, and take up kindness,

Give up fear, and take up faith. Amen

It seems that when we do that, Lent can take us somewhere. We may not know exactly where. The simple answer, of course, is that Lent takes us to Easter. But it really is far more about a journey to a particular day or season; it’s about moving into a new relationship with God.