Pastor’s Corner: To Shed Light on our Hunger for the Joys of Easter

How do you observe Lent? Do you?

Prayerful preparation for Easter goes back a long way – at least 1800 years, based on a letter of Irenaus of Lyon. It reflects a basic religious impulse that celebration requires preparation. It’s the spiritual equivalent of preparing your home to host a party: acquiring the food, cleaning the spaces, and setting out the glassware. Or for an outdoor feast: wrapping the pork roast, lighting the fire in the imu, and setting out the folding chairs.

Just writing this is making me hungry.

Which is the point of Lent: to shed light on our hunger for the joys of Easter.

Some people like to give something up for Lent; others like to take on a discipline or a task for the season. I’ve done both (sometimes in the same Lent). I’ve found, over the years, that I shouldn’t try to repeat something I’ve done before, because I almost always fail the second time. I remember with a certain amount of yearning the year I gave up anxiety for Lent – and I remember with regret the year I tried it a second time, and found myself more anxious than before.

Each year, apparently, I need a new light to illuminate my hunger for the joys of Easter.

All too often, Christians make Lent into a dull, flavorless, and uninspiring season. Instead of actively engaging with their souls, they pull a shadow over themselves, sinking into a slough of “unworthiness.” Years ago, a good friend of mine described it as “sin, death, and blah.” Nobody needs that.

A light on our hunger for the joys of Easter, though? I could use that.

Lent is that preparation and waiting time, when the pork is roasting beneath the banana leaves, and the guests are still down the road, and there are chairs still to be unfolded, when flavors and stories lie still ahead.

It is a light on our hunger for the joys of Easter.


Pastor Eric

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on March 1st.

Photo by Eric Anderson, copyright 2015 the Missionary Society of Connecticut. Used by permission under Creative Commons license.

Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: , , , | Posted on February 15, 2017

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