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A blessed Lenten journey to you

Discussion in 'Religion and Spirituality' started by Ohiophinphan, Mar 5, 2019.

  1. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    It may sound strange, but I love Lent.

    First off for the folks here who do not know what I am talking about, Lent is the 40 days prior to Easter, not counting Sundays, in which Christians contemplate what God has done in the world and in their lives. That time designation comes from the 40 days Jesus spent being tempted in the Wilderness in the Gospel accounts. It has historically been observed by taking on additional prayer disciplines, fasting, self-denial of certain pleasures, and other devotional acts. All those things are intended to help the Christian consider more fully the mysteries of the Christian faith. In western Christianity, Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and as the mark of the ash is placed on foreheads we hear, "Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return!" It ends of course with the celebration of the Resurrection on Easter morning.

    I hope you find this time meaningful and blessed.
     
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  2. Galant

    Galant Love - Unity - Sacrifice - Eternity Staff Member

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    As someone not from a liturgical background and thus not having much experience with Lent, would you care to share any details/specifics on what Lent means to you, how you enjoy it, what it does for you etc. ?
     
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  3. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Thank you, I will try. Please understand, these remarks are very personal. I am sure others approach Lent in their own way.

    I serve as a parish pastor. With nearly 35 years since my ordination, I am often asked and able to assist the newly ordained and local congregations beyond my own in areas of mission and ministry. I appreciate that and am honored. In addition my temperament and personality are such that most of my study and reading is to prepare for preaching, teaching, and writing. I don't really need "permission" to feed my own soul (especially if I listen to my Bishop;)) but the reality is I don't think of myself in that way. I regularly preach about what God has done for all of us, this is a time when I focus down on what God has done as well for each of us.

    Lent has been that time, especially since seminary. I take on a study of something scriptural that is just for me, I take on an additional devotional which heightens my personal walk as a Christian not just as a leader. I have never been much of a person who "gives up something" for Lent. I have preferred taking on an additional study or regimen.

    We Lutheran Christians do not have a tradition of worship beyond Sunday morning. We have never had the daily Mass of Catholics or the Sunday night/Wednesday night disciplines of the modern Evangelicals. Lent is the exception to that. We have the Wednesday night services and the services of Holy Week. We concentrate on not jumping straight to Easter but experiencing the journey and each of its steps. Funny, I have been doing this a long time but each year, I find additional nuances in the Holy Thursday and Good Friday narratives and meditations. This year, for example, I am changing out my long time habit in place of a series produced by a group called "Creative Communications for the Parish" which concentrates on the Sermon on the mount. I haven't done an intense study on that in some time and it excites me now. Hopefully, I can help make it exciting for the folks coming to services and studies.

    I get a lot personally out of symbols and symbolism both visual and in writing. Engaging in a discipline which has been practiced in some form within the Church since the late first/early second century and is observed across the Christian spectrum highlights the universality of the Faith and makes me aware of my place in the great cloud of witnesses. I find that very uplifting and humbling all at the same time.

    Thanks for asking.:bless:
     
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  4. Galant

    Galant Love - Unity - Sacrifice - Eternity Staff Member

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    Thank you!
     
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