Is it possible to find God in the Calendar? Can we look at months and seasons and find His presence in the myriad of life activities? Can we find Him in the seasons? If we think of each of these as moments in time, it is possible.
The church thoughtfully put together the church calendar to correspond to the seasons of spring, summer, fall, and winter. Let's talk about the beauty of spring.
The month of March is a series of beginnings here in Korea. For my son, it is the beginning of high school. For my husband and myself, it is the beginning of the school year. My two youngest start grade two and grade four. I love that fact these beginnings correspond to the weather becoming warmer. It’s the beginning of spring. Thawing, new starts, new life.
This first week of March also marks the beginning of Lent, the 40 days leading up to Holy Week and Easter. Traditionally, we are supposed to give something up over the 40 days in order to understand what Christ experienced with the 40 days of fasting in the desert before he began his ministry.
Lent is a time to re-orient ourselves, to clarify our minds, to slow down, focus on God’s kingdom and the value he has set on us. It’s supposed to be a wakening or renewing of vision.
This past Tuesday was Shrove Tuesday. This is the day that gets you ready for the journey. We are confessing sins or being ‘shriven’ or absolved. It also a day to prepare for the fast. My Nazarene church tradition celebrates this with a meal of pancakes. A way of fattening you or getting you ready for fasting.
This past Wednesday was Ash Wednesday. This is the day where you go to church to pray, fast, and repent. It derives its name from the placing of repentance ashes on the foreheads of participants to either the words "Repent, and believe in the Gospel" or the dictum "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."
I do find something really beautiful about this. We are pushing away darkness and getting ready for God’s amazing light.
This poem by Scott Cairns expresses the beauty of Lent and the coming glory of Easter.
Death of Death
Put fear aside now that He entered into death on our behalf All who live longer die as men once died that epherical occasion has met its utter end as seeds cast to the earth we will not perish but like those seeds shall rise again the shroud of death itself having been burst to tatters by love’s immensity
If you are one who has never heard of Lent, Shrove Tuesday, or Ash Wednesday, I want to encourage you. This season of Lent and these days are markings, beginnings if you will. New beginnings can a blessed thing as we come out of winter. Take the time to find out more. Choose someone who can help you. Read. Pray. Reflect. Make room. I pray you will walk in the immensity of God’s light.
If you are one of those who have stepped away from these traditions, I want to encourage you too. God is still there just waiting for you. He is there watching and hoping you meet him. Make room for God’s light to come into your life again. Read. Pray. Reflect. Walk in the immensity of God’s light again.
If you are one who participates in these traditions, but the meaning has been lost, I want to encourage you too. Often we are just too busy to slow down and reflect. Find that time in whatever way you can. Go to a church service. Close your bedroom door, open the Bible and pray. And don’t let your children in. Let the immensity of his light touch you.
Let the immensity of his light in!
The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior, who will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love. Zephaniah 3:17