If like myself, you are a pastor and a liturgical nerd, you are probably already starting to think about Lent. Even though we have not yet fully turned the corner into Epiphany, Lent will be here before we know it beginning with Ash Wednesday in mid-February.
I did not grow up in a church tradition that typically observed the Christian calendar or celebrated the season of Lent, yet I quickly latched on to these ancient practices when I first learned about them in college. I embraced the regular rhythms and patterns that came from following the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, and Ordinary Time. I was thrilled to find that there was a deeper, spiritual way of measuring days that overlaid our consumer-driven calendar measured by militaristic national holidays and Hallmark creations. I am a naturally a creature of habit and find comfort in my daily rituals and weekly traditions; the lectionary and Church calendar had been the liturgical answer my soul had been longing for all along.
Lent in particular is often a time of reset for my spiritual life. It doesn’t matter if my relationship with God over the past year has been close and companionable, or distant and estranged. The journey to the cross from Ash Wednesday through Easter is always a time when I discover a profound reconnection to Christ.
Unfortunately, Lent 2020 was not the reset that I had hoped for. Instead of a reconnection to God and the community of believers, like many others, halfway through Lent I found myself physically cut off from my church family due to Covid-19 shutdowns and stay-at-home orders. Rather than finding the time of Lent to be a refreshing spring to my parched soul, my already dried-up heart continued to wither in a deserted wilderness.
But, Lent always comes around again. Through the steady and constant patterns of the Christian calendar—and the wondrous mercies of God that are new every day and year—we have yet another chance to reset. We have yet another opportunity to pause and reflect.
So this is your invitation to join me for Reset & Reflect: Daily Rhythms for Lent. It's a daily devotional that begins with Ash Wednesday (February 17) and goes all the way through Easter (April 4). It will include a short Scripture reading, a brief meditative thought, and a reflection question. It will be available right here on my website, or delivered straight to your inbox every day through my Substack.
Lent is a time that naturally lends itself to confession, and I must confess that I did not want to write this Lenten devotional. My husband was actually the one that suggested I should throw myself into a project that would not only bring purpose to my own life, but possibly offer joy and comfort to others as well.
I’m hoping that these simple daily meditations will offer you a chance for healing, restoration, and resetting, as they have for me. Will you join me as we Reset and Reflect this Lent?