This week marks the beginning of the Lenten Season. Lent is a season of spiritual preparation for Easter. It is a time to assess our faith and discipleship and re-gain our footing in terms of our relationship with God through Christ.
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (this year, February 14th). On Ash Wednesday we partake of an ancient ritual of Imposition of Ashes when ashes are placed on the foreheads of believers to signify both their mortality and need for repentance. The ash is mixed with olive oil to additionally signify the healing and wholeness that Christ provides.
More than anything else, Lent is to be a time of introspective stock-taking about who we are as Christian people. Some find giving up a decadence of some sort during the six weeks of Lent to be helpful. Others find taking on an act of service to be of assistance.
In the end, my hope is that you take some contemplative time during this holy season to re-ground yourself as a person of faith.
To that end, I offer here some questions to contemplate. Hopefully, these will be the springboard for a deeper encounter with the divine in your life on this journey that begins with ashes and ends with the empty tomb.
Self-Examination Questions for Lent:
Where is love leading you today?
Who is hard for you to love, and why, and might there not be a way for you to love them anyway?
What is the difference between your highest values and the way you actually live?
What unfinished spiritual business do you have that ought to be completed?
What are you running away from, and what would happen if you stopped avoiding it?
What is below the surface of the image you present to the world? What would happen if you revealed what was below the surface?
What can you discover by taking time to keep silence, and finding the courage to look within?
What is getting in love’s way, for you?
What kind of help do you need, and are you willing to ask for it and receive it?
What gift do you have to give today to others?
What can you do to make life better for vulnerable people in the wider world?
What message do you need to hear, but don’t feel ready to hear? What can you do to get ready to hear it?
In addition to contemplating these self-examination questions, I hope that you make church attendance part of your spiritual practice during Lent and that you find this a truly fruitful season of the Spirit!
See you in church