A Lenten Reflection


This week we celebrate President’s Day in honor of all Presidents
in our Nation’s history.  Who do you admire most as President?  A February 18, 2012, Gallup poll indicated that Ronald Reagan ranked number one.  In his inaugural address on January 21, 1985, he said, “May He continue to hold us close as we fill the world with our sound…one people under God, dedicated to the dream of freedom that He placed in the human heart, called upon now to pass that dream on to a waiting and hopeful world.”  May He continue to hold us close indeed.

Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season, the forty days leading up to Easter.   Lent is a time of reflection, fasting and praying.  It is a time of repentance.

Although often considered a time to give up something one enjoys as a sacrifice, I like to think of Lent as a time to do something more.  Do something more!  You may feel you simply could not do one more thing.  In today’s fast pace that is understandable.  Sure it would be good to visit the sick, take food to the homebound, help a single mom by watching her children, whatever selfless act you could do.  Realistically, maybe you cannot do this.

However, each of us can do more to enhance our spiritual life and relationship with the Lord.  This will in turn enhance our relationships with all around us.  To start, during Lent we can commit to give more attention to our time of prayer.  If you cannot physically do more for another you can add them to your prayer list.  It is in praying for one another that we are exponentially blessed and so are they by our prayers.  We need one another to get through this life.

Try adding someone you do not care for or are upset with to your prayers.  It is amazing how God can turn your heart (and it is always a heart issue) when you commit to pray for someone you would rather not pray for.  When we let go or our bitterness and resentment that is when He can do the most healing within.  Give it a try!  Jesus tells us, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”  (Matthew 6:14)

Spend a little extra time reading the Bible during Lent.  Not spending any time reading right now?  Good, this is the perfect time to start!  It only takes twenty one days to form a habit and we are talking about forty days here so just imagine how solid you will be in your Bible time by the end of Lent.  During His forty days in the desert Jesus was tempted by the devil.  He met each temptation by quoting Scripture.  In Matthew 4:4 He says, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”  We are called to nourish ourselves not just with food but also with the Word of God.  Are you well-nourished or malnourished?

A lot of people tell me they just do not get anything out of reading the Bible…just do not understand it.  You will get out what you put in.  Enter in with a positive attitude and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what He would have you know and how it applies to your life.  If you make a heartfelt commitment He will meet you there.  I know because He met me and slowly opened my eyes to His Word.  He will do the same for you. Jesus says concerning the Holy Spirit, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper that He may abide with you forever.”  (John 14:16)  He is there to help you.  Let Him.

Purpose this Lent to develop a deeper relationship with the Lord and the things of the Lord.  Attend some Lenten services and share in corporate worship.  Again, we need each other, and joining with others can help us grow on our journey as well as enhance theirs.   This is a time of reflection that can yield great fruit if you commit to it and allow it.

We are ‘praying the states’ during the fifty weeks preceding the Presidential election.  This week we cover Massachusetts, admitted to the union February 6, 1788.  Pray for wisdom and discernment for political leaders, pastors and church leaders, the people of Massachusetts and all in our Nation as we progress toward the 2012 election for President of the United States.  These are our United States.  Let us pray that we will arise united ‘for such a time as this!”

Thank you for your faithfulness to pray for our Nation, each other, our service men and women, our youth, peace in Israel.  As we pray for each state in the country may our awareness reach beyond the boundary of our individual life to encompass the entire country one state at a time.