Lent - Time of Preparation
It’s been almost a year since the pandemic took control of our lives, we all miss our church services and fellowships. Psalm 84 relates how most of us feel right now, longing to be back in church for worship. “ How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord;” - Psalm 84:1-2
As we hope in God’s grace that we will gather for worship this Easter, let us prepare ourselves for Easter through our acts of repentance, prayers, fasting, and charity.
Lent is the time to reflect on ourselves, a time to renew our relationship with our Almighty God. Catherine Doherty, a pioneer of social justice, elucidates about lent as “Lent is a time of going very deeply into ourselves… What is it that stands between us and God? Between us and our brothers and sisters? Between us and life, the life of the Spirit? Whatever it is, let us relentlessly tear it out, without a moment’s hesitation.”
What stands between us and God? Is it our pride, envy, anger, or lack of faith? Examining our-selves, getting to know our flaws is the first step towards reconciliation. We can recite the Psalmist prayer asking for God’s help to realize the change we need in us and believe our good God will work through our mistakes to perfect us.
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” - Psalm 139: 23-24
Lent is the time of Repentance. Our loving God is rich in mercy. He is gracious and merciful and will not turn away from us if we realize our mistakes and turn our ways towards him.
Praying, Fasting and Almsgiving are the three pillars of Lenten practice.
Prayer nurtures our relationship with God. Even though prayer is part of our daily Christian life, let us focus on spending more time praying, studying God’s word, worshipping with our families and friends during this Lenten season.
Fasting is a special way of showing our level of commitment to God through self-discipline. Be-sides fasting and abstinence, most of us also give up something for Lent. Some of us would like to restrict the time we spend watching television, social networking, or other forms of entertainment. Some of us choose to give up something we love, some of us refrain from our favorite food, and so on. Whatever we choose to give up, it should be done for the glory of God, the time we gain should be spent to draw us closer to God, the money we save should be given to the needy. Let us also refrain from being judgmental, from saying hurtful words, from our anger this season.
Lent is also a time to serve others. Choosing to serve the needy, reaching out to the less fortunate with our time, talents and wealth is a better way to spend our Lenten season.
Dear friends in Christ, during these unsettling times, let us also keep each other in our prayers as we prepare for Easter.