Ash Wednesday, February 18, 2015
But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door and pray to God in that inner place.
I don’t believe Lent is supposed to be punitive. Jesus didn’t go to the desert as a punishment, he went as a retreat. Knowing he was about to face many challenges, he left to find solitude with God. He left to find the strength he needed to face the coming weeks – – strength he knew would be provided through his relationship with God. So, in my view, Jesus didn’t go to the desert to be alone, rather, he went with God to a quiet place, to restore his weariness and anxiety and simply to rest in the loving arms of the One who knew him as beloved, and delighted in spending time with him.
That’s what I believe Lent is…the opportunity to make and enjoy quiet, one on one time with God. To rest in God’s loving embrace, so that we, too may gather the courage, strength, and energy to face the challenges of life. To rest in God’s loving embrace, so that we too, may remember that we are beloved. To rest in God’s loving embrace, so we may know in the depths of our soul that no matter what temptations we face daily – both internally and externally, that we are not alone.
Perhaps this lent can be a time of giving ourselves permission to spend time with God, to reconnect with the One who loved us into being, loves us through trials and joy, and who has no greater delight than to spend one on one time with us. Let’s take time this Lent to our inner secret place and simply rest in love. Imagine the love we can share, if we’ve reclaimed our own!