The season of Lent originated as a period during which catechumens were readied for reception into the Body of Christ, the Church, at Easter. Candidates prepared intellectually and spiritually to make their baptismal vows, renouncing all evil powers and sinful desires and committing to accept Christ as Saviour, giving their lives to Jesus.
Theologically, Lent still invites metanoia, “a transformative change of heart”. It begins with the acknowledgment of brokenness, within our world, our church, our relationships and ourselves. The season traditionally was observed by acts of penitence and general deprivation. This sometimes tough and gut-wrenching work may still be significant for you in your life journey, as you acknowledge your personal sins, behaviours, attitudes and excesses that cripple your health in body, mind and spirit. Now may be the time, finally, to make a decision to change your ways. But Lent is also a time to open oneself to accept nurture, to explore the power of prayer, to seek healing and spiritual growth.
The title for this years’ daily devotional, was inspired by Deuteronomy chapter 4, verse 29, “You will seek the Lord your God and you will find him if you search after him with all your heart and soul.” The content, however, is fed by thousands of theological reflections throughout the year, prompted by experiences, study, conversations, images and mindfulness of the ongoing presence, faithfulness and power of our God at work in our lives. I pray that it will provide encouragement for you in your Lenten sojourn through the 40 Days (plus the five Sundays) of the season. As in past years, my culinary avocation will surface, for your use or amusement.
Together with Christians around the globe, we journey with our Saviour Jesus, coming at last to the foot of the Cross and then witnessing to the Sonrise that is our Joy.
“I invite you therefore, in the name of the Lord,
to observe a holy Lent by self-examination, penitence, prayer, fasting and almsgiving,
and by reading and meditating on the word of God.”