Across the Pastor’s Desk: Lent — The springtime of the soul
Published 7:00 pm Thursday, April 11, 2019
Across the Pastor’s Desk by Josh Enderson
As the snow disappears, we see signs of spring all around us: birds returning, warmer temperatures, bulbs beginning to emerge around us.
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We see signs of life reemerging after winter slumbers. Everything needs to take some time to rest and rejuvenate in order to burst forth with new life in the spring.
Lent is a season or rest and renewal for our faith life. In fact, the word Lent comes from an old English word meaning springtime.
During Lent, we become more focused on the ways we fall short in life and the ways we need God in our lives. Some of us may give something up as a spiritual practice; others may take on something new for the same reasons.
Our songs in worship become a bit more subdued and reflective. It is a time for us to grow our spiritual lives by going deeper into our relationship with God.
Some people feel the austere and sorrowful aspects of Lent should be our norm for the rest of the year; that we should always be fearful of God and always wallow in shame for our sins. But I do not think that is helpful, as it misses the whole reason for Lent.
It is good and healthy to spend some time in the darkness, aware of our mistakes. However, we know there is more to the faith life than that. We know there is light at the end of our Lenten journey, the light of Easter morning.
We know that, despite our failings, God’s love is always there, washing us clean and giving us new life once again.
Lent is not a season of only somberness and solemnity. It is also a season of new birth, of the springtime of the soul. It is a time for us to prepare our hearts and minds for the glories of the resurrection.
So, as you watch the world come back to life around you this spring, look for signs of new life and renewal in your faith life, too.
Where is God speaking to you? Where might God be calling you to go? What might God be calling you to do? Look for signs of God’s love bursting forth in your life as we prepare to stand in that glorious light of God’s love on Easter.
Josh Enderson is an ELCA pastor at Hayward and Trondhjem Lutheran churches.