Forgive Me Lord For I have Sinned: The Meaning of Lent

5 03 2014

Forgive Me Lord For I have Sinned: On The meaning of Lent

NO CHURCH SEASON is closer to my heart than Lent. Lent is derived from the Anglo Saxon word “lenctem,” meaning “spring.” The word reflects the lengthening of days as we move from winter towards summer. Lent is the 40 days (excluding Sundays) between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Traditionally it has been a time of fasting commemorative of Jesus’ 40 days of fasting in the wilderness following his baptism. Lent also recalls the 40 days that Elijah and Moses both spent with God, as well as the 40 years that Israel spent wandering in the desert.
Lent is the perfect season of the year for solitude and self-reflection. As we spiritually journey into the desert, Lent is a time to re-examine our boundary lines and get realigned, set in right relationship with God and the world around us. I would like to suggest a Lenten path to travel as the days grow longer and Easter approaches, the path of simplicity.
Simplicity is not about poverty, or a renunciation of possessions, or a set of “dos” or “don’ts.” Rather, simplicity is a spiritual discipline that re-orients one’s life by deliberately organizing it around a central purpose.

Adhering to a focused center reduces the fractured nature of our lives. Our priorities become aligned to the focus of our lives, and the way we live out our simplicity in terms of our time, energy, and money becomes a reflection of our inner beliefs. On the most basic level, simplicity means being honest and sincere with ourselves about our faith and what really matters most to us.
To walk the path of simplicity we must believe that God calls us to it. Lent invites us to journey in the way of Jesus by learning more about his way and applying it in our lives.
In the coming 40 days of Lent, allow Christ’s light to shine more brightly in your life and lead you into a path of simplicity that helps you re-orient your life toward God in Christ.


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