New Blog Post: “Lent: A Season for Returning”

Once again we’ve come to that time of the Christian year when we begin to set our eyes toward Easter.  This is what we do during the Season of Lent, which is the forty days before Easter Sunday.  As Henri Nouwen writes: “Lent is a time of returning to God. It is a time to confess how we keep looking for joy, peace, and satisfaction in the many people and things surrounding us without really finding what we desire.  Only God can give us what we want.  So we must be reconciled to God . . . The season of Lent helps us in a special way to cry out for God’s mercy.”  (Quoted by Ruth Haley Barton in “Season of Returning: A Leader’s Journey into Lent” in eReflections, Feb. 21, 2014)  So, how will you intentionally return to God this year?  One thing I feel called to do this Lent is a bit of fasting.  To deny myself a bit of food, so I can devote the time I would have spent eating to “feast” on God’s Word.  How will you return to the Lord this Lenten season?  I invite you to take some time today to reflect on that question and receive the Lord’s guidance.  Perhaps the following prayer by Henri Nouwen  (A Cry for Mercy) will help you in this reflective process:

Yes, Lord, I have to die—with you, through you, and in you—and thus become ready to recognize you when you appear to me in your resurrection.  There is so much in me that needs to die: false attachments, greed and anger, impatience and stinginess.
O Lord, I am self-centered, concerned about myself, my career, my future, my name and fame.  Often I even feel that I use you to my own advantage.
Yes, Lord, I know it is true.  I know that I have often spoken about you , written about you, and acted in your name for my own glory and success.  Your name has not led me to persecution, oppression, or rejection.  Your name has brought me rewards! I see clearly how little I have died with you, really gone your way and been faithful to you. 
O Lord, make this Lenten season different from the other ones.  Let me find you again. Amen.

 

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