Lent has historically been a time of repentance, contemplation, sacrifice, and abstention. In the early church the 40 days of Lent were a serious time of training. Candidates for baptism were taught prayer, they learned to fast, and studied the textual/oral tradition to best equip them to combat the deceptive powers in our world.
Lent is not meant to be a miserable time of long faces, but about an inner transformation that leads to fresh and emerging ways of being in the world. Bruce Epperly writes, “The pruning of Lent is, as a farmer once told me, the way we let the sun shine in and the blossoms grow into fruit. The mortality we recognize during Lent is not intended to burden us with fear, but to invite us to see life as precious and focus on what’s truly important. It is a call to treasure each day, and not mess around with the unworthy or unimportant.”
So with that said I want to take a 3 week journey with you. A journey into one of the many spiritual practices, meant to prune and grow us in a new direction – the practice of prayer. For the next few weeks I’ll be posting my experiences, thoughts and ramblings about the practice of prayer in preparation for the conversation we’ll have on Sunday the 25th.
Check back tomorrow for the first of many posts!