If you aren’t … uh-oh! It’s Ash Wednesday! Your time to prepare is up! Today while doing Morning Prayer, the scripture reading came from Zechariah 7 and I found it to be a succinct and efficient summary of what our Lenten attitude should be. Let me share with you a few thoughts for your own personal meditation. This reading began with a question being put to the people, asking whether the fasts of the past had really been practiced for God. That caught my attention right away and I think it is a good question we need to ask ourselves today. Are we just going through the motions? Why are we participating in Lent tradition? What does our heart tell us? Are we moved when we plan? When we participate? When we practice?
The passage goes on to say “Judge with true justice, and show kindness and compassion toward each other. Do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the resident alien or the poor; do not plot evil against one another in your hearts”. And that, my friends, is what really struck me as profound. In that short snippet, I find a summary of what Lent is all about and what our objective needs to be in all that we ‘give up’ or promise ‘to do’ during this season of prayer, fasting, and alms-giving. It’s all about loving our neighbor for the love of our God. If we miss that point, we miss out entirely.
So if you haven’t prepared for Lent yet – if you don’t have a plan, spend your Ash Wednesday making one. (You can pretend that you intended for the day to be spent that way!) If you need some help, visit my brief topic page on Lent for some suggestions to get you started. And whatever you decide -or whatever you have already planned – remember to do it from the perspective of LOVE. After all, our self-discipline during this season is all about making ourselves more virtuous and pleasing to God, is it not?