Reflection for the Beginning of Lent
WHY DO WE DO THE THINGS WE DO DURING LENT?
Why do we fast and you take no notice? Deny ourselves and you pay no heed? (Isaiah 58:3)
Good questions. Why DO we do the things we do during Lent? This leads to an even bigger question: who is the God I believe in?
Is God Someone who cares for me with every fiber of his being, whose joy it is to be an intimate part of my existence? Who walks with me in moments of pain and sorrow and dances with me in moments of joy?
Yes, this is the God who stands with us at the threshold of our Lenten journey. A God who has promised to be with us through all the ups and downs of life.
Father, we don’t need to appease you by our Lenten denial. We already have your love and favor. If we deny ourselves–the selfish, isolated parts of ourselves that we still cling to–it is because we know that we are safe in your love and we can let ourselves free-fall into your heart. That heart which will enfold us in healing and transforming love.
We do what we do during Lent because we are loved. We know that by inviting you into our depths, we say yes to your healing presence and that “your hand will do all things for us” as we say in the psalm. “You love all things that exist, O Lord,” we sang on Ash Wednesday. There you have it. That is the beginning and the end. We came from love, we live in love, we return to love. May our Lenten journey be a sharing of this love with all creation by opening out our depths to him in trust, and may our Lenten practices create in us quiet places where God can refresh and heal us, and we can come apart and rest awhile.