The Season of Lent
It's not something that’s readily noticeable to others, but it happens to most just as surely as the sun rises each day. It doesn't happen overnight so that when it does dawn upon us it comes as a complete surprise. We notice it most often when we realize that the type on the printed page is not as clear as what it once was. And then it hits us ‑ the length of our arms has shortened!
To be sure, we really know that it's our eyes and not our arms, but most of us tell ourselves that if our arms were as long as they used to be or just a bit longer all the words would be perfectly clear. Certainly, we've been told over and over again that as we get older our eyes change. And, although we can't make our arms longer, we can arrange to have corrective lenses placed over the bridge of our nose.
Even though new glasses are designed to improve our vision, objects those first few days still appear a bit out of whack. But, in no time at all, our eyes quickly adapt and then, lo and behold, the black type of the written word comes clearly into focus.
Lent is the time in the church year to readjust our spiritual focus. Perhaps we might call it a bifocal time ‑ a time to be nearsighted and look at ourselves and a time to be farsighted and look at others.
Taking measure of ourselves and our spiritual lives, we come to find that Lent historically has been, and continues to be, a time when believers have sought to improve their praying. They have looked meditatively for the presence of God in their lives. They have taken the weeks of Lent to reshape their lives to make that Presence a reality in their being.
At the same time, we lift our eyes from the half-moons of our spectacles to look out the larger upper portions, at others around us and in the world. We look not for their faults but for the positive attributes they might have. Not only do we look out at those about us, but we reach out to them as well, by encouraging the goodness we see in them.
The season of Lent is a time of grace whereby we refocus our vision. We take it not only personally but communally as well. In that sense, it's like a journey that we, as a committed band of God's People, travel together. It is only together, joined with others, that we can be the Lenten body of Christ that will celebrate Easter as the risen body of Christ.
Isn’t it so?
Pastor Larry Louder
The people of Grace share their favorite bible stories for the 2023 Lenten Devotional: I Love to Tell the Story. Each day's devotional will be automatically posted so come back daily after 7 am for a new reflection.