Being Stewards of Forty Days

It occurs only once a year, but does so annually.  Granted it lasts for more than one month, so one could contend there is ample time to observe it.  The problem is that, during those same days, the world confronts us with other demands and our human inclinations tempt us with a variety of other opportunities.  These possibilities, then, compete with it for our attention and so sometimes we simply miss it … and in some instances, miss it because we have ignored it.

It … of course, you know by now, is Lent.  Lent is the forty day season every year when disciples of Jesus are called to return our hearts, our minds, and our lives to the Lord our God.  Beginning with the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday, Lent every year reminds us that life now and in the future is not found in what we have and what we are, but is found in whose we are.  Focusing its participants on the cross, Lent every year calls to mind that the source of love is not ourselves, but is God.  The apostle John eloquently speaks of this love as he writes, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,…that the world might be saved through him”. [John 3:16a, 17b]

The season of Lent represents 11% of our life each calendar year; therefore, I believe, it behooves us to be disciplined stewards of this Christian observance because these forty days nudge us to get in touch with what is at the heart of it all for disciples of Jesus.  As we walk with Jesus from temptations, to challenges, to suffering, to disappointments, to trial, to sacrifice, to cross and to death we experience anew every Lent God’s grace, love, mercy, peace, and new life … for all of us.  Lent makes God’s promises to us in our baptisms, which are at the heart of it all, a central focus in our lives again and again.  Lent prompts us to remember that at the heart of it all is not me, not you, not our works, not our successes, not our failures, not the doubts.  No at the heart of it all is God who sent Jesus, … and who is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.

Whose God?  Our God.  My fellow pilgrims in this season of Lent, be a steward of these forty days and get to your mission center, (your church), and make worship a part of your week, every week … during Lent … and all year long for that matter.  It is there that you re-discover time and again that God is at the heart of it all!