Grace and Peace to you.
Our oldest son and his wife are expecting a boy, our first grandchild, in early April. We’ve had a while now to get used to the idea. Of course Dan and Jill are getting ready for a lot more than an idea. Something’s about to radically change their lives.
Not long after the baby comes, Easter will come. Resurrection, too, is more than an idea. It radically changes our lives. But new life doesn’t just happen in a flash. It takes preparation. So starting Wednesday we have Lent: a time to get ready. The tradition of repentance and “giving up something for Lent” is not just some ancient vestige. In various forms the three great penitential disciplines—fasting and abstinence, prayer and meditation, and giving and service—help us to make room in our hearts for the new life that is coming.
Let his Lenten season be a time to confront your old life, the fearful, self-contained life you need to let go of. Practice letting go of all that and receiving new life from God. Be honest about the brokenness in your heart and in the world. Make an empty space for God to come in a new way. Whatever Lenten disciplines you choose for yourself, choose what helps you let go of old ways and receive new life.
The repentance of Lent is not a dreary, sorrowful duty. It’s full of possibility, like getting ready for a baby. New life is coming. You’re about to be raised from the dead. Get ready!
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