Lent?

OK then, this is a bit early, but it is in my thoughts, which is what Facebook asked me. I cannot find any biblical backing for the season called Lent in terms of a sort of 40 day time of spiritual preparation for Easter. I think the first reference to such a 40 day season is found in the 4th. Century which of course may imply it existed before then: I may be wrong about that: correction willingly and humbly accepted. I will not contest it you if you tell me other, as I am simply saying what I believe to be the case historically. So for me it is one of these things than can claim no biblical authority, along with other matters such as special robes for the clergy etc. As such, such things are not part of my articles of faith and practice as it were, nor are they reason for entering into argument with those for whom they matter a lot. I can take such things or leave them without fight! However that does not mean that times of spiritual searching and preparation are not helpful and advisable. I know we can and should prepare ourselves all the time, but nonetheless, everyday preparation can be injected with fresh life by a special focussed season devoted to that purpose.

Spring sort of fits in with us psychologically as a time of reaching out with and for new life. Lent comes from a word for Spring.I am not sure where Lent descended into matters such as giving up chocolate, though no doubt such things help with personal discipline. However, let me suggest that if you want to follow a slightly deeper pursuit than the mastery of chocolate consumption, but are not the type of person with whom a formal Lenten course sits well, you could think of this: Jesus 40 days in the wilderness seemed to centre on this battle; an infiltration by evil to misinterpret, misapply and lie about what Christ’s belovedness meant, in order to to contest it or to distort its implications for His relationship with the Father and doing the Father’s will in the Father’s way. Jesus won through and returned from the wilderness in the obvious and manifest power of the Spirit.

Why not say over yourself each day of Lent when it comes, what God says over you in Christ? “You are my Son, my Daughter, whom I love. You bring me great joy.” Having said that each day in the Name of the Father to yourself, listen for where something within you, or from without contests that, argues with it, accepts it or rejoices in it. What do you think is going on within you and why? What are the implications of your belovedness for how you face your circumstances, for your relating to others, for prayer, for faith, for service? What strongholds within your relationship with yourself and with God raise themselves up against the truth of your belovedness? What reacts by calling your belovedness a lie? How did that get there?

So there is my suggestion for you if you are like me and find a formal embracing of Lent does not sit easy with you for biblical reasons. Take it or leave it, free of charge!

God bless

Kenny

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