Reflections

Lent – Time of Challenge


Friday 11 March 2016

Every thoughtful Christian instinctively recognizes that Lent is a very special, grace-filled, and challenging time of the year. Lent is the season of the Christian year where believers examine their own humanity and ways they separate themselves from God to prepare for Jesus' death and resurrection. It lasts for forty days, reflective of the forty days Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness. As Christians enter their own symbolic wilderness during Lent, they remember their own humanity, vulnerable to temptation, just like Jesus in the wilderness.


Ash Wednesday begins Lent to remind believers that only with God's help can they overcome their sin and suffering as human beings. As Jesus entered into the wilderness, he needed God to defeat the devil. In a similar manner, believers entering Lent, a season of facing sin, need a reminder of their mortality to encourage their reliance on God.

 

On Ash Wednesday, Christians attend a church service where a minister will mark believers' foreheads with ashes and utter a variation of, "remember you are but dust, and to dust you shall return." This service helps them to remember their own mortality and ask for God's help, just as Jesus did in the wilderness, so that they might be saved through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

 

The ashes remind believers that they will die and will literally rot away without God's gift of eternal life, which Christians believe comes from Jesus Christ. The believer then leaves the service, marked with a symbol of her or his humanity, as an invitation for penance. Jesus died and rose again, to save those who confessed their sins, essentially those who are human. Being human is a necessary condition for God's salvation.

 

Wish you all the blessings of the Season.

 




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