It was not until I was in early adulthood that I began to practice Lent. A season of reflection, a time to enter more fully into the suffering & death of Jesus, a period of reflecting on our spiritual journeys…Lent has taken on a different meaning each year. It’s always time set aside though, to practice being intentional.
The earliest mention of Lent in the history of the Church comes from the council of Nicaea in 325 AD. The Greek word translated Lent actually meant forty, the number of days Christ spent in the desert at the start of his public ministry. Christ followers began to practice Lent as a season to prepare for new life, which was celebrated on Resurrection Sunday (aka Easter). It was time full of both preparation and joy.
Some of you may be a bit indifferent or confused by Lent. It seems a tad too ritualistic, formal or even irrelevant. The truth is it can be all of those things if we allow it. We can go through the motions. We can fake an over-spiritual facade, but that’s certainly not what Lent is about.
It’s an invitation to be honest about our lives & to grow deeper into the Way of Jesus.
For The Well community, this Lent included an invitation to go deeper into the Way (of Jesus). Deeper will look like spending time exploring practices found in Matthew 6-7, the latter half of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. As we gather on Sundays, we’ll hear teaching, but also share in a time of conversation about how these practices transform us & help to bring about God’s kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. We’ll talk about practices like prayer, truth-telling and simplicity. During our Lent Sacred Stories Group, we’ll be invited to go deeper into the stories of Jesus and into our own stories. You may choose to share your story or to practice being present (for 6 consecutive Wednesdays!) with others as they share their journeys with us.
Along with our community gatherings, this Lent, I’m committing to be intentional about two things. I’ve decided to read & reflect on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) each day during Lent. I’m also keeping a journal, a “Lent Reflections” journal that I’m putting the finishing touches on right now…I probably should have given up procrastination for Lent, but that’ll have to wait for another year.
However you choose to move through Lent, I pray it is a time that calls you deeper into relationship, into peace, into action, into solidarity & into Jesus himself. I pray it is a time that leads you not into putting on another mask, but into the deeper truths that have the power to change us & change the world for good.
Peace & love,