Monday, February 27, 2017

Lent: spiritual spring cleaning

Confession time: even though I went to church my whole life, I didn't really know what Lent was all about. I knew it preceded Easter and that, during Lent, people gave up things like chocolate and Facebook, but that is all.

Oh, that is not all. It's meant to be so much more!

The Lent season lasts for forty days (excluding Sundays) from Ash Wednesday to Easter, and is comprised of fasting, prayer, charity, and Scripture reading. This website further explains Lent in this way:
"The purpose of Lent is to be a season of fasting, self-denial, spiritual growth, conversion, and simplicity. Lent, which comes from the Teutonic (Germanic) word for springtime, can be viewed as a spiritual spring cleaning: a time for taking spiritual inventory and then cleaning out those things which hinder our corporate and personal relationships with Jesus Christ and our service to Him. Thus it is fitting that the season of Lent begin with a symbol of repentance: placing ashes mixed with oil on one's head or forehead. However, we must remember that our Lenten disciplines are supposed to ultimately transform our entire person: body, soul, and spirit, and help us become more like Christ. Eastern Christians call this process theosis, which St. Athanasius describes as 'becoming by grace what God is by nature.'"
I've been a bit lax with my relationship with Christ lately, and this is just the kickstart I needed to get back to where I want to be. Where I need to be.

I'm going to be using the Gospel Coalition's daily Lenten devotional Journey to the Cross as a guide (You can download it here.) and am so excited to begin a season of spiritual renewal.

Lent, I am so happy you're here! Let's do this.

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