In most Protestant churches, Lent is seen as a time of reflection and penance – and that’s not a bad thing. In our reflections, we see that we are wholly weak as individuals, and that we need repentance in order to realign our lives with Christ’s. However, Lent has historically been a time of preparation, anticipation, and even celebration for the church as a whole. In the early church, it was the season of preparation for baptism – the final steps towards death of self and life in Christ. Dying to self and walking with Christ is not just an individual act – life in Christ is the Church, and thus the season of Lent is a time when “we together work to root out the blindness and deception that prevent us from receiving each other as gracious gifts from God. Properly understood and practiced, Lent is an invitation to honesty and clarity. It is the disciplined time we need to learn to see each other and the world more deeply as the material manifestations of God’s love. Cleansed of our sinful attachments, and finding God always to be near, we can then go out to welcome everyone and everything with joy” (Norman Wirzba, Christian Reflection–Lent). As the old gospel song says: I am weak, but thou art strong. This is never more evident than when we examine ourselves and realize our collective needs as the church. Individually, we are wholly weak, but together we are made Holy in Christ! Soli deo Gloria, Tim

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