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Lenten Introspection

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We’re officially in Lent, the period of 40 days, which comes before Easter in the Christian calendar. It’s a time of preparation for Easter, and, in many Christian traditions, a season of remorse. I think Lent can serve a good purpose even for people who are not in liturgical churches and don’t observe or think about it much.

During Lent we can take our hearts through a process to get them ready for Easter.

Christians are often uncomfortable with a whole lot of lament and remorse. But something has gone wrong. It’s called sin. There are things in our lives that are not how they were meant to be. We acknowledge that when we confess our sin. This Lenten period is a good time to examine ourselves afresh and reflect further on how we’ve fallen short. Certain rituals and scripture passages can help our thinking.

We acknowledge the fact that men were created out of the dust of the earth and our bodies will return to that form. We are thus reminded of our mortality, and of our sinfulness. Psalm 51 helps us confess sin. Meditating on John chapter 15 helps us remember again that we derive our spiritual life as we abide in the true vine, Christ.

People give things up for Lent. Even good things. This is not to earn brownie points, but to focus our attention more fully on Jesus. It’s saying no to something important, so that we can know the Lord better. To make God the highest pursuit of our lives.

This is, of course, countercultural.

The culture doesn’t even know what is true anymore. It cannot say what sin is except perhaps to call evil good and good evil.

Since Lent is both personal and public, we can demonstrate our faith with our Lenten practices. Let’s be intentional in our preparation for the celebration of Christ’s resurrection, for our own sake and for the sake of the world.
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