It is coming to the time of Lent in the Church calendar. This is a time of “penitence, fasting, and prayer, in preparation for the great feast of the resurrection” (BCP 2019). I have appreciated Easter far more since entering into the Anglican tradition. Lent gives me the pause and reflection needed to truly sense the power of the Resurrection.
The season of Lent, in the Anglican tradition is an invitation. Lent is to be observed “by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and alms-giving; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word” (BCP 2019).
All these elements are useful for this time of reflection. Generally what gets the attention is the fasting. There are things to “give up” during Lent. Food. Types of food. There are also those who abstain from other practices, such as giving up social media, TV, etc. The most common concept of Lent people talk about is giving something up.
It is a time of repentance and self-examination. We are to prepare for Good Friday, sense the weight of the crucifixion, mourn the loss during Holy Saturday, and then explode in life on Easter morning.
Two areas I am challenged in this year: alms-giving and meditating on the Word. I am always ready to meditate on the Word, but this year will have a different time of writing focus for me as I try to distill some years of work on particular parts of Scripture. I will have a renewed focus on writing and meditation.
I will also pay attention more to almsgiving. My wife and I will pray more about giving to the poor in a more focused way in this season. We do this regularly, but to have a concerted, prayerful, effort is our challenge in this season.
This is a blessed journey. May we walk with purpose on this path.