How does one observe Lent? This question seems to be in conversations all around me. Many of my friends have gone off the grid so to speak – relinquishing all modes of social media communication. Others have given up meat, dessert, or shopping – the list goes on. Still others have decided to devote more time to cultivating the classic Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
What I love about each of the seasons in the Church Calendar is just how unifying they truly are. As the Church observes, remembers, and celebrates the events that each season points to, the Church is upholding the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We set aside the differences that often plague the Church and come together centered in and on Christ. It’s not about us. It is always about Jesus Christ. Lent is about examining ourselves and being reminded that we are utterly dependent upon God alone. So, whether one aims to deny the self or give of one self in this season of Lent, we can agree that the sole purpose of it all is to draw closer to God through Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Apparently even the World Wide Web has been inculturated to prepare for Easter! Here is a wonderful resource that I came across online which engages all of in our Lenten disciplines. Lent 2012: Lenten Fast With Prayers, Poems, Reflections Prepares For Easter. I leave you with today’s prayer by the Archbishop Desmund Tutu.
Disturb us, O Lord
when we are too well-pleased with ourselves
when our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little,
because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, O Lord
when with the abundance of things we possess,
we have lost our thirst for the water of life
when, having fallen in love with time,
we have ceased to dream of eternity
and in our efforts to build a new earth,
we have allowed our vision of Heaven to grow dim.
Stir us, O Lord
to dare more boldly, to venture into wider seas
where storms show Thy mastery,
where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.
In the name of Him who pushed back the horizons of our hopes
and invited the brave to follow.
Melanie, senior MDiv student at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary