Lenten Questions

By Rev. Peter Gaughan, Associate Pastor

What will you do for Lent? 

That is the million dollar question that follows the fun of Mardi Gras. How will you be observing Lent this year? By giving up something delightful, like chocolates or for those die–hard carnivores, meat? Will you make it a point to get up extra early and go for a run or spend time in reading scripture and meditation? Perhaps you are considering fasting once a week, eating nothing but bread and drinking only water. All of these are acceptable Lenten practices. If you already have your answer, I wonder can you answer the follow-up question few consider: Why?

Why will you give up chocolate, go for a run, or create a devotional time during Lent? Why will you deny yourself food all day once a week during Lent? Why do we recognize Lent at all?
Why indeed. During our Year of Love, Broadmoor United Methodist Church will be tackling that deeper question during Lent. We will as a community of faith be looking toward the heart of the matter, the why of it all.

Answering that question is no simple task. Truly it is not we who can answer it. We can only receive the answer if we are bold enough and patient enough to listen for the answer. This bold listening is sometimes referred to as discernment. Others call it prayer (contemplative prayer if you want to get more specific).

And so we dig deeper, searching for the heart of this Lenten season as best we can. Adopting new ways to pray and new practices of observance remind us during this time that it is not we who have the answers. It is we who must wait for God’s answer in God’s time. We must wait for Easter. The answer to why we engage in these Lenten practices is revealed to us in their practice.
That leaves me with one Lenten question. Will you join us in making this Lenten season holy by praying with and for this church? Will you use this time to see clearly the answers to why? No matter what you choose to do this Lent, may you find what we are all seeking, the grace of God.