Lenten Truth

Lent is the Christian season of 40 days that precedes Easter. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter. Sundays are not included in the count of 40 days because Sunday is the first day of the week and the day of Resurrection. Sunday is a Feast Day of celebration. Lent also refers to the 40 days and nights of the flood narrative, the 40 years of Israel’s sojourn in the wilderness, and Jesus’ 40 days of temptation in the desert.

During Lent, people of faith have the opportunity for self-reflection in light of several key truths. They are: “You are dust and to dust you shall return” (facing one’s mortality); You are not in control; and God is in charge. All of these truths imply struggle especially the last truth when one is so often aware of the pain and suffering in the world.

At the Ash Wednesday observance, these truths were manifest. To mark a 6 month old baby and a 92 year old man and everyone in between with the sign of the cross and the words, “You are dust and to dust you shall return,” spoke the truth of the human condition. Life is precious and sacred. We are as the flower that blooms today and fades tomorrow. My Lenten reflection will be how to:

·         Reverence and hold life.

·          Live abundantly.

·         Love unconditionally.

·         Dance.

·         Sing.

·         Laugh.

·         Cry.

·         Pray.

·         Embrace.

For tomorrow, we die.

As you think of your Lenten journey, I share this poem with you:

Lent…. Lengthening of days

Shortening of life.

One precious, beautiful life.

 

Lent… Lengthening of days

Opening of life.

One precious, beautiful life.

 

Lent… Lengthening of days

Expanding one’s life

One precious, beautiful life.

 

Lent… Lengthening of days

Dying now to life

One precious, beautiful life.

 

Lent… Lengthening of days

Opening to life

One precious, beautiful life.

 

Forty days and the nights

Embracing again

One precious, beautiful life.

 

© Tom Melvin

 

About the Author
Although Tom was born and raised an American, his life experience and faith journey have brought him to our congregation. His social justice background, deep empathy and sense of humor have combined to give him the depth to lead this flock in south Calgary. He can be totally at home leading us in prayer or in a rousing shout of “Yahoo!”
  1. Rita Brinsmead Reply

    Hi Tom, We happen to be in Mexico as Shrove Tuesday was celebrated and it was interesting to see in a very Catholic country people walking around with large ash marks on foreheads–nothing reticent here! Among several friends, they speak of ‘giving up’ for Lent, alcohol, smoking, etc. but I’m much more aligned with your camp of anticipating and celebrating what is to come, a much more positive approach. Thanks for this, we’ll see you soon. Rita

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