Until now I have never really celebrated Lent. I have been a Christian for over 20 years but the richness of this season has been unknown to me.
In recent years the desire to cultivate meaningful family traditions for my children has led to learning more about the seasons of the Church calendar and looking for ways to incorporate these into our family life.
As we walk stumblingly through Lent and I focus my heart on this season of preparation I am seeing deeper into the promises and anticipation of the redeeming work of Christ. His grace of accepting, cleansing and purifying me shines greater as the cross looms ever nearer.
I am also learning gratitude and thanksgiving is at the heart of this season:
In the season of Lent, the Church encourages us to “master our sinfulness and conquer our pride,” but we are to do this within the context of thankfulness. The deeper appreciation for what God has accomplished in Christ, the greater our gratitude. The sacrifices we make are simple ways of expressing thankfulness. God only asks us to accept his love in Christ Jesus. (The Little Way of Lent, by Father Gary Caster)
Gifts I have noticed recently:
841) Antibiotics for an infected bee sting.
842) A productive afternoon’s work.
843) Taking the whole family to a movie together.
844) Son enraptured by model engineering displays.
845) A quiet house to myself for the afternoon while I prepare a sermon.
846) The fog appears to be lifting.
847) Another poison prevention talk delivered to parents.
848) Guiding others through Bible basics.
849) Small, incremental improvements.
850) A few more steps towards healing and understanding.
851) So many ideas that I don’t have time to use them all.
852) Cheerful cheeping of a fantail as we walk together.
853) Happy children on scooters on a sunny track.
854) Renewed vigour and enthusiasm in our little church.
855) Seeing the effects of God at work in people’s lives.