Belated thoughts on Lent

I find myself entering this very holy season with much excitement.  I know, that is such an odd way to enter a religious season of self-denial, reflection and repentance.  But I am.  I love all the liturgical seasons of the Christian calendar, but Lent has always been one of my favorites.  I love that there is a time within the Church set aside to focus inward.  A time to focus on what in our hearts and heads we can clear out in order to make room for the new.  It is a spiritual sweeping out of those crusty old crevices and preparing for something beautiful.

This year I am a part of a faith community that I absolutely adore.  This churches challenges me in all the right places, and encourages me when I need it most.  There have been few times in my life when I have felt so at home in a church.

The congregation is breaking into small groups this year that will meet once a week, and as a community read “A Clearing Season.”  I am excited to share in this time of reflection with others.  I am happy to bring others along on my journey though Lent.  Because as deeply personal as this time can be, it can also be incredibly meaningful to bring others along with you.

Wednesday night I sat in candle-lit chapel, singing and praying with friends and strangers.  I knelt at the front and felt the ashes that I myself had burned only hours before, gently placed on my forehead in the loose shape of a cross.  I prayed about all that I would give up this season, and all that I hoped to gain.  As we sang our final prayer that evening I thought, “How beautiful and wonderful to have a place and time set aside clear my head and soul and make way for the joy of Easter.”

How beautiful indeed.

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