On Feb. 22, the church universally celebrated Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of the season of Lent. I know some of you might be thinking I am referring to the little fuzz balls on your clothes, but Lent actually marks the 40 days leading up to Easter. This season is a time when we remember how Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness, fasting and enduring temptations. For those of us who typically celebrate Lent in the church, it is a time of deep reflection, repentance and renewal with Jesus.
During this 40-day period, many people fast from certain foods or maybe give up social media that takes so much time away from focusing on God and the purpose he has for our lives. Others take on a spiritual discipline, such as being more dedicated to time in prayer and Scripture reading or volunteering more at a nonprofit. In my personal journey of faith, the season of Lent has led to some of my hardest days, yet they were the most spiritually rewarding because I was more intentional about giving God control over every aspect of my life.
Life is hectic and chaotic, to say the least, and we try to tackle it on our own. We let our selfishness and sinful ways rule our mind, words and actions. We love celebrating our risen savior on Easter, but we quickly forget all the pain and torture he went through to get there. During the Lenten season, may we fast and confess where we have fallen short of living out God’s will for our lives. As we journey ever so close to the cross this year, may we ask God to change our hearts and to restore in us the joy of our salvation.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right and steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence and do not take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.” Psalms 51:10-12 AMP.
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. … But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:29, 31 NIV.
– The Rev. Julie Fuller is mom to Davis and Dallas and pastor at Acworth Presbyterian Church. Connect with her and the church on Facebook and at https://acworthpresbyterianchurch.org/.
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