Perhaps no other season in the church’s liturgical calendar offers opportunities for spiritual reflection as LENT does. The joyous Alleluias of Christmas and Easter are more conducive to a spirit of celebration than reflection though the two are not by any means mutually exclusive. Pentecost Day brings its own excitement with sounds of mighty rushing wind and tongues of flames and the birth of church. Lent comes with its sombre notes and subdued moods which beckon us into a contemplative mood.
In our Lenten spiritual journey we follow Jesus from the wilderness of temptation to the hill of Golgotha. Between these two places we see him teaching the multitudes on the mountain, in the synagogues on the Sabbath; we behold his compassion and love as he heals the sick and forgives sinners; we marvel at his power over creation and the evil one in miracles and exorcisms; we witness as he eats and drinks with outcasts and celebrates at a wedding in Cana, and finally we behold the spectacle of him hanging in agony on a cross dying for our sin – dying in our place.
A spiritual pilgrimage during Lent contemplating on the life, suffering and death of our Lord can offer the benefits of renewal of life, rejuvenation of faith, and a reawakening of spirit dulled by indifference, preoccupation with the things of the world and neglect of “the one thing that is needful” (Luke 10:41 – 42). Sometimes we allow the cares of life to separate us from our walk with God. It happens that peoples faith becomes weak and their religion meaningless and boring. In such cases even the joyous strains of the alleluias of Christmas and Easter feel empty and incapable of evoking any excitement. For those who find themselves under these threats to their Christian walk, Lent can be for them a time for rediscovering a vital faith in God and a warm relationship with Him. For those who do not face these threats Lent will be another welcomed opportunity to experience the spiritual benefits that Lenten disciplines bring.
Christians would do well to embrace Lent in the spirit and mood of contemplation. Here is an opportunity to find again the excitement of Christian discipleship. Use this Lenten season to reflect on your life in Christ. May you emerge from this season renewed, refreshed and rejuvenated in faith, spiritual life and in your walk with God.