As many of us received ashes to mark Ash Wednesday, February 14 began our season of Lent. A season marked in the Christian Church by 40 days, not counting Sundays, leading up to the celebration of Easter.

Repentance, fasting, and prayer during the season of Lent help to prepare us for Easter. And the 40 days also represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, as well as his time of response to temptation and preparation for his public ministry.

Today, Christians often participate in Lenten Bible studies, book studies, silent retreats, personal sacrifice (choosing to give up something) or daily prayer and devotional emphasis. You may take this time to focus on doing one specific thing to bless others and glorify God. 

As we enter into this season, I pray that we will find time to be kind to our minds, bodies, and souls, as well as discover or rediscover the blessing of silence. 

Throughout these next 40 days, our lives may include good news announcements, moments of joy, as well as tears of sadness or grief. My personal prayer is that I may be emptied so that I become, as Robert Benson writes in Living Prayer, “a space created” that can be filled by God.

Lent is a season in the liturgical calendar that will come and will go. However, we are reminded that our God is with us for “the long haul of our lives.” May we draw strength from our closer walk with Jesus
[One day] “He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” – Luke 11:1 (NSRV)

Be encouraged, 
Bishop Julius C. Trimble