Lenten Devotional by Mary Beth Woolard
If you have been at Trinity UMC the past few Sundays, you have heard several of the men talking about going to Mardi Gras in New Orleans to witness to the crowds who gather there. Historically speaking, Mardi Gras (aka Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday and, in some countries Carnivale) is a time of gluttony and excess before the austerity of Lent.
Lent? What is Lent? Well, it’s the 40 days before Easter (excluding Sundays). It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter. But why do we celebrate Lent? If you will recall, after Jesus was baptized, He went to the wilderness where he fasted and prayed for 40 days in preparation for His ministry. Jesus needed time away from the world to spend time with His Father.
Lent gives us the opportunity to prepare ourselves for something, too. Our lives are so full of running here and there, of too many activities, of too many devices and of too much irrelevant stuff. Lent gives us the time to return to God and re-focus our lives to be more in line with Jesus. It’s a 40 day trial run in changing our lifestyles and letting God change our hearts.
Why not try it this year? Walk a little closer to Jesus. Listen a little more intently for what He is saying. Take on some kind of a service project…just between ourselves and God. Pour our hearts out to Him about that one person who really, really needs to know His saving Grace. The possibilities are endless because the grace and goodness of our Savior is endless. Be intentional this year as we walk through Lent. Who knows what Easter might have in store for us this year?
Father, I just ask that you would open the eyes of our hearts and souls this year during Lent. Draw us close to you and reveal yourself to us in ways that we cannot even imagine. Show us how to be your hands and feet here on earth. Amen