By Martha Strong
Special to GUIDON
Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, a day when many Christians attend a worship service to receive ashes on their foreheads in the sign of a cross.
The ashes are a sign of repentance and reminder of the frailty of life.
It is the beginning of the season of Lent, 40 days that lead up to the celebration of Easter Sunday.
Lent is a time of reflection and repentance. We get the word Lent from the Old English “lencten,” meaning “spring time,” or a time of renewal.
The bare, snowy landscape of winter is a good start to the season of Lent. If our world was green and teaming with life at all times, we might not feel a need for renewal. According to Webster’s Dictionary, renewal is to make new or strong again, to give new spiritual strength, or to replace what is old and worn.
It is at this time of year when Christmas is long past and summer is still three months ahead that many of us need renewal. We have a feeling of being stuck as we wait impatiently for spring, but we can break free of that feeling, and replace what is old and worn in our lives with a new spiritual strength.
We all want our lives to be purposeful. It’s easy to see why we tire of the cold winter and long for the warmth of spring.
The good news is that time with God in worship or reading scripture can bring renewal and spiritual strength to our lives. God sent Jesus to pay the price for our sins and give us a new life in the
During Lent, we are reminded that it wasn’t an easy road to the cross that Jesus walked for us. But he did it out of love for us.
Renewal or change in our lives is never easy. However, the most meaningful moments in life can come through our struggles. God doesn’t want us to struggle alone. He wants us to look to him for strength. In Isaiah 41:10, God tells us, “I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
May you find renewal this Lent.
(Editor’s note: Strong is the director of religious education at Fort Leonard Wood.)