Lent reorients usby Jonathan Emerson-Pierce, Markham, Ontario
We are near the beginning of Lent, the season of the church year commemorating Jesus’ journey to the cross. Scripture tells us that Jesus’ journey was from the beginning. Building on the Old Testament, the Gospels describe how Jesus’ life began in heaven and his life on earth as an infant—as well as a refugee in Egypt. Once his ministry began, he traveled throughout Galilee, then through Judea and finally to his awaiting cross in Jerusalem. To be a Christian is to follow Jesus in this way. When Jesus invited a group to be his first disciples, it was to join him on this journey.
Annually, Lent affords us this opportunity afresh and in our own time. We journey the 40 days toward the Easter celebration, when all our hopes for salvation are realized as one people. For the Christian, salvation hope always includes both body and soul. Thus, the Lenten disciplines designed to connect us with Christ encompass the essence and totality of our existence. They are three: prayer (God-directed), fasting (self-directed), charity (other-directed).
The annual season of Lent is to help us refocus ourselves for a Lenten journey that lasts a lifetime.
This annual reorientation is especially important because we do not always know what God wants us to do next on this journey or even where God wants us to go. Such disciplines as prayer, fasting and charity serve to remind us that, while our direction is not always clear, it is nonetheless possible to know that we are moving in the right direction. That’s because this journey is for us just as it was in the beginning—a gift of grace. Of course, Jesus never promised his disciples a life free of trial. But we do share in his promise to those early disciples, the promise that as long as we follow in his steps, we will never be alone. Certainly one significance of Lent is an opportunity to rediscover the promise for ourselves.
- Whispers of resurrection
- Up, out, down
- A paracosmic Millennium
- The Word in worship
- God's realm in and among us
- In March
- The cost of medicines
- My testimony
News stories, digests and Meno Acontecer
- MC USA receives $3 million surprise
- Web exclusive: John Howard Yoder's 'irresponsibility'?
- MMA to change name
- MCC leaders respond to MC USA moderator
- Review: Avatar lays groundwork for peaceful solutions
- Franconia's plan to dismiss staff on hold
- Moderator questions MCC
- CPT founding director Gene Stoltzfus dies
- Goshen College announces plans for national anthem's implementation
- Mennonite providers get update on health-care legislation
- Mennonite artist creates icons
- A nurse describes her two weeks in Haiti
- News Briefs - March 2010
- Festival celebrates 300 years in Lancaster
- Burkholder's dissertation 'all but banned'
- Brenneman calls for new 'school of thought'
- Survey: more women in leadership but still not enough
- MDS trailer stolen Jan. 5, worth over $10,000
- Resources - March, 2010
- Births and Marriages - 2010
- Inattention blindness
- Living the in-between
- Tenderly name others
- God's avatar
- Developing leadership for the church
- 'They seek a city'
- Ceaseless generosity
- First things first: Seek God's wisdom
- Lent reorients us
- How could they do such a thing?
- How justify special privileges?
- Ethnicity should be celebrated
- Jesus did not know everything
- Saddened by national anthem
- Be careful about our beliefs
- Latent dynamics gone
- Lacks spirit of unity
- Time to get behind Stutzman
- Richly blessed by every article