Friday, February 5

Preparing for Lent: Update Reflection

I hope this season of Ordinary Time after the Epiphany is one in which the light of Christ is shining into your life, providing you with light to see the way, and even exposing things in your life that have been hidden.
Lent is rapidly approaching. Ash Wednesday is February 17th. Lent is the time that church prepares to recieve again the mystery of salvation. the preparation for the church's greatest feast Easter, where we remember that Christ for our sake passed over from death to life.- That Christ "..beat down death by death." As the Orthodox liturgy of Easter proclaims.

In preparation to receive again this mystery the church fasts, and engages in other disciplines, that are contemplative and encourage self-reflection. In Lent the church also identifies with the suffering of Christ, his temptation and overcoming of temptation and sin in the dessert. So Lent is a time to allow God to come and meet us at the point of our sin. God comes not to condemn us but to further liberate us from those things in our lives that continue to bind us, that we still hold on to even though they are destructive and bring death into our lives, our work, our relationships. In the day to day bustle of life these things can at times seem to be small things, and yet they are contradictions within ourselves as followers of Christ. Lent then is a time of grace where we can return to God, in those very places where we have run or hid ourselves from God. It is a time of grace to discover through the illumination of the Spirit areas of our life still bound to Sin and Death, which we have possibly never noticed before.

Allow God this Lent through Lenten disciplines of fasting and contemplation, through pastoral conversation and confession, to prepare you for receiving again the great mystery of our Faith. In this season after the Epiphany we have celebrated Christ as the light that shines in darkness. Lent encourages us to let that light shine into those areas of our life where we still cling to darkness. May the Life, Suffering, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ sustain us and embolden us as we face again our deep and persistent need for God's liberating love.

In Christ,
Larry Kamphausen
Church of Jesus Christ, Reconciler
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'Church of Jesus Christ, Reconciler: Update'