Happy Lent!


Happy Lent! We might not think of Lent as a “happy” time, but that’s the way God thinks about this season. He looks forward to it! To him, Lent is an exciting time, a hopeful time, a time for his children to come home to him. Our Father longs for each of us to grow closer to him and experience his love. And so he calls us through the prophet Joel: “Return to me with your whole heart” (2:12).

This is the “why” behind the Lenten practices of fasting and repentance, of giving alms and setting aside extra time for prayer. We make these efforts not merely as an obligation or an attempt to detach from those attitudes & values that pull away from loving God and others, but as a response to God’s loving call. They help us to return to him and reconnect with the One who has loved us from the beginning. With each prayer, each sacrifice, and each act of mercy, we can take one step closer to our Father.

The good news is that God has already made the first move toward us and keeps doing so. Through Jesus coming into our world and giving us his Holy Spirit, God has come closer to us in a whole new way. He is always near, but in our weakness and dysfunctions, we drift away from him at times and lose sight of his love. All we need to do, is to respond to his presence and his love and the season of Lent is an invitation and opportunity to do just that and experience renewal. Lent comes from an old English word, which actually means ‘season of spring’. It’s a season which offers us fresh hope of newness and life.

Credit: Image by New Life by Pexels from Pixabay

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Witnesses of Jesus’ Resurrection

The theme of ‘witnesses’ – people who’ve experienced something – speaks to something that is really distinctive to the Christian faith. Christianity is not a philosophy – though it can incorporate philosophy; it’s not primarily a mysticism – though it can incorporate mysticism; it’s not a religion that comes welling up out of natural experience – though it can accommodate that. Christianity is about something that happened; and there were witnesses of it. Without that, Christianity falls apart.

Evidence of the Resurrection

What is the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead? I want to focus on just one feature that John the Apostle especially draws attention to in his gospel account – namely, the burial cloths left behind in the tomb.