The Lenten season is an invitation to bring intention to my spiritual life and my connection to God through Jesus. While this is a year-round intention I hold, the 40 days of Lent are a special call to live out my faith in renewing ways, affording time for spiritual transformation even as I await the natural changes evidenced with the coming of the spring and shift in the seasons. This is transformation experienced through the encounter with Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection as we move through Holy Week and remember his journey to the cross.
This year, I am more contemplative and aware of the changes happening in the world. I am thinking of what it means for me to live as a person of faith in a world where there are many needs to be addressed. I am inviting Spirit’s presence as I listen for what my spiritual practices will include as I move forward. I am finding my way into what comes next after months of grief and loss and creating time to be still and know God during Lent.
The Lenten disciplines, fasting, praying, and the weeks of preparing for the Easter message of God’s love given in Christ, are important for centering myself as a Christian. These Holy days of Lent are preparation for being present in the world, bringing with me the love of Christ. The Lenten season is a reminder I am not alone in addressing the joys and sorrow of the world even through these days of contemplating the joy and sorrow of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Jesus’ ministry, which was focused on justice during a time of oppression and Roman occupation, is an example for ministry in the world today. We are called to feed the hungry, to provide for the poor, to bring healing to the sick, and to call out injustices even in places where power and authority reside – government or the church. Lent allows me to bring deeper meaning to my faith and to the journey as a public theologian and one who is called to bring change to our communities.
The Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia A. Thompson is the Associate General Minister (AGM) and Vice President for Wider Church Ministries (WCM) and Co-Executive for Global Ministries. She is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. She is an inspiring preacher and public theologian, who shares her skills and gifts in a variety of settings nationally and internationally, often using her poetry as a part of her ministry. Her book of poetry Drums in Our Veins was published in 2022.