This Season of Reflection
Mar 6, 2017
Last Wednesday, on Ash Wednesday, we entered the season of preparation for Easter, which we call Lent. As Advent is meant to be a preparation time for Christmas so Lent is meant to help us focus more clearly on the most magnificent Church season of her calendar year. On Easter, we celebrate our personal and congregational deliverance from the effects of sin; which is death. To get ready for this reflection it is important to recognize how sin still does grind us down. If we have no sense of our need for what Jesus will gives us, then we will miss the point of the whole season of preparation. Then this major season becomes like Christmas in that we concentrate more on the “aftereffects” of the season (eating candy again, or the ham dinner on Easter Sunday) instead of allowing ourselves to ponder the greatness of the gift: eternal life!
To get to this capacity to ponder we must enter a period that is uncomfortable in that we have to recognize that we are not perfect and we never will be. In this day and age of positive “self-esteem” where every participant in a sporting activity gets a trophy we can be somewhat deluded into thinking that we can champion over our faults and perfect ourselves; when the reality is that this just doesn’t happen. We may have learned how to manage the effects of our brokenness but that in no way substitutes for our need for a Savior who has come to embrace us just as we are.
This is the season of reflection that might (and I hope does) lead a few more people to the confessional to hear those wonderful words once again: “I absolve you of all of your sins”. To hear forgiveness made real in the voice of the one who has been set aside to do such things can be a very freeing moment in which we get a taste of the great Easter gift: Christ’s eternal life.