IN THE DAILY ROUND of life, dust and cobwebs accumulate in our souls. The hidden corners of our hearts become encrusted with grime or filled with forgotten debris. During the weeks of Lent, God's Spirit is given opportunity to clear away the clutter, sweep away the dust and wash us clean. We are invited to prepare ourselves heart, soul, mind and body for the new life of Easter.
Marlene Kropf in The Mennonite
WITHIN THE CHURCH at least, Lent's like Christmas: it's been overcommercialized. The "giving up [for Lent]" part is so dominant that what other meaning was there is eclipsed, hidden.
Nora Gallagher, Things Seen and Unseen
I GAVE UP coffee creamer for Lent one year. By the end of the tenth day, I began to love black coffee. That's the year I learned that it isn't giving up things that counts. Me? I became aware that only internal change really counts.
Joan Chittister, Listen with the Heart
I AM CONVINCED that 99 percent of us are addicted to something, whether it is eating, shopping, blaming, or taking care of other people. The simplest definition of an addiction is anything we use to fill the empty place inside of us that belongs to God alone.
Barbara Brown Taylor, Home by Another Way
MAYBE LENT is a good time to stop doing and try being… . Relinquishment lies at the heart of the Christian gospel and is a countercultural choice that hones our discipleship. If I let go of the assumption that my hard work will bring me all that I desire, I begin to look at the present moment, receive it with gratitude, and know what it asks of me. I learn when it is time to rest, time to plan, time to play, time to wait, time to act boldly.
Elizabeth J. Canham in Weavings
THEY WHO are conscious of their own sins have no eyes for the sins of their neighbors.
Abbot Moses in The Wisdom of the Desert
IF YOU therefore go to the desert to be rid of all the dreadful people and all the awful problems in your life, you will be wasting your time. You should go to the desert for a total confrontation with yourself.
Alessandro Pronzato, Meditations on the Sand
THE SEASON of Lent involves the telling of the same old story that invites us to become participants in the drama. If we choose to act in this great Passion Play we shall find ourselves called to be experiments in vulnerability. We will have set in motion a course of events totally beyond our control.
Alan Jones, Passion for Pilgrimage
Copyright © 2004 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
Past Reflections columns include:
Following the Star (Dec. 23, 2003)
Advent (Dec. 10, 2003)
Wisdom for Ministry (Nov. 10, 2003)
Discerning God's Will (Oct. 6, 2003)
Work and Vocation (Sept. 17, 2003)
Bumper Sticker Theology (July 30, 2003)
Songs from the Soul (July 8, 2003)
Walk Humbly (May 28, 2003)
Mercy (May 8, 2004)
Cross and Resurrection (April 16, 2003)
Justice (March 18, 2003)
Sex, Love, and Marriage (Feb. 14, 2003)
Mountaintop Spirituality (January 23, 2003)
Word Made Flesh (December 20, 2002)
Desert Springs (November 25, 2002)
Matters of the Mind (October 16, 2002)
Bumper stickers (August 6, 2002)
Preaching (July 18, 2002)
Prayer (June 24, 2002)
Suffering and Grief (May 20, 2002)
Writers and Words (April 18, 2002)
Crucifixion (March 28, 2002)
God's Mission (February 13, 2002)
On Enemies (January 8, 2002)
Life After Christmas (December 26, 2001)
Love & Marriage (November 13, 2001)
The Word of God (October 22, 2001)
Leadership (October 11, 2001)
Suffering (September 13, 2001)
Change (August 14, 2001)
Living Tradition (July 18, 2001)
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.