While Lent is a season some people wish to avoid on the church calendar, there are some of us who actually look forward to the season. Lent brings us an opportunity for introspection and contemplation as we walk through the weeks leading up to Holy Week.
For me, this period of reflection and pondering offers a reset of faith, repointing and redirecting us back more deeply into the faith that the secular world sometimes overpowers. For many, the to-do's of our lives, the demands of work and the expectations placed upon us can be overwhelming and exhausting. Social media tells us over and over we never have enough, there’s always more just outside our reach and perhaps worst of all, that there’s no hope in this world full of political and social strife, illness and oppression.
But Lent allows us to reset. To slow down and redirect our focus back into what lifts and supports us: our faith and its importance. Lent reminds us and gives us the opportunity to reconnect with God, to push the earthly demands aside and rediscover what it means to be faith filled.
We’re also given the sacred time of the Triduum, the period of three days that begins with the liturgy on the evening of Maundy Thursday, reaching its high point in the Easter Vigil. These three days focus us on the heaviness of loss in the crucifixion, the emptiness of the tomb and the hope found in the resurrection. It prepares us to truly celebrate on Easter Sunday with newfound hope and wonderment.
Many today have stepped away from the church. Polls and research can be found in endless amounts that speak to the decline of the church today. What we need to remember is that faith, even when we’ve perhaps let it slip to the side, always remains in us and calls us. The hope God has for all of his created calls us and is there for us when we seek it. God never abandons us, despite the times where we perhaps have forgotten God.
As we enter this season, take the time to reengage with your faith and church. Be deliberate in setting the time aside for worship and reconnect with the God who loves you and always loves you. Rediscover the sense of community and love that exists when you get back into the habit of attending corporate worship whether in a church, a temple, a mosque. In all of these places you discover the opportunity to not only reengage with God, but to be in much stronger relationships with others. Your lives become fuller, not with the earthly stuff that distracts us, but with the holy which grows us.
The Rev. Harry E. Walton is the rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, 414 Sumner St., Stoughton. Services of Holy Eucharist are at 9 a.m. Sundays. For more information, visit http://trinitystoughton.com or on Facebook at https://facebook.com/trinitystoughton.