Yes, I know. People give up things for Lent. We get things at Christmas. (Although, ’tis better to give, as they say.) I don’t attend a liturgical church (such as the one led by our dear Father Mike.) Our congregation doesn’t observe a formal Lenten season. Yet, I do love the concept. And, I tend to follow the traditional church calendar all year. I read my Bible according to the seasons.
This month, I’m walking with the disciples through the Gospels. Such good stuff here! If you have never read about the life of Jesus through the voice of someone who ate with Him, laughed with Him, ran away when He died, and then came back when He called – check it out. (Email me or reply here for suggestions on which translation and which book. I’m currently using The New Living Translation for my daily reading. I’m partial to Luke, but Mark is a quicker read.)
So, I did give up something for Lent this year. But what I gave up really isn’t good for me, anyway, so I hardly think it counts. Instead, I’m concentrating on what I’m getting:
Peace – every time I center down for even five minutes and explore the final journey to Bethlehem, I feel such peace. When Jesus ignores the crowd to bless the children, I feel His hand on my head, too. When He heals Blind Bartemaeus, I feel a sweet sigh go all the way through my soul. And, when He sits for a final meal with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, I can almost smell the sweet oil Mary pours on His head.
Hope – Life is not easy here among the earth stuff. I miss my dad so badly at Easter. He once filled plastic eggs for more than forty extra people on short notice because we asked to bring the whole Bible College to his annual hunt. I usually cry a little over missing him at this season. Yet, I don’t mourn as those who have no hope. I cry, and then I sing, “Up from the grave He arose” because I know it is true of Jesus, it is true of my dad, and it will be true for me someday.
Joy – Joy is the theme-song for this season. My favorite place to touch it is in the graveyard with Mary. She went to anoint the dead body of Jesus and ended up hugging his very much alive person, instead. Isn’t that the way of things in God’s world? What seems dead can live again. Dreams, plans, relationships.
Those are a few of the things I’m getting from Lent this year. I’m looking forward to the “bursting forth” of Easter morning. And, then, our calendar steers us toward Pentecost! But that is another story.
Are getting something from Lent?