All of March is in the season of Lent. In the Christian year there are two periods of anticipation and preparation for what is to come. Advent prepares us for Christmas; Lent prepares us for Easter.
Lent is not to be thought of as Advent is mistakenly seen as the last shopping and party period before Christmas. Lent is the time of self-transformation as we prepare to journey to the empty tomb and encounter the definitive act of God proclaiming the full authority of the Kingdom of God on Earth.
Caesar Augustus was proclaimed to be “Son of God (Apollo’s son),” divinely conceived, “Lord,” and “Prince of Peace.” Easter is the culmination of Jesus’ proclamation that the “Kingdom of God is at hand.” God has said no to Caesar and yes to Jesus. Now we must make ourselves ready to affirm with God that “Yes”.
We do this by deepening our relationship with God. By examining the things that separate us and beginning to set them aside, we draw closer to God and thus to the “Way” of Jesus. In place of the things that separate, we add disciplines which draw us nearer, such as prayer, study, and service. If this sounds like something that will change who you are right now, you are correct. We should be seeking transformation or as it is mentioned in the Bible, “born again”.
As Christians, we are to draw closer to God and love the same things that God loves, the Creation, Justice, and Righteousness. God made us stewards of the Creation. We are responsible for it as if it were a part of ourselves, a very near and dear part of ourselves. We are called to seek justice; there is no room for vengeance in justice. Justice is seeking to provide the welcome and support to all the Children of God regardless of their social, political, racial, or any other labeled position. Righteousness is striving to live a life of love and justice in all that we say and do. It means to serve others before we serve ourselves.
Easter is next month. Are you prepared? There is still time to get to the work of transformation. We can all work on it together.