What season is it? The season of winter, of course. It’s cold outside! It’s even snowed this past couple of weeks. I hope that wherever you live, you got enough snow to go outside and play in it. Build a little snowman. Do a little sledding. Catch some snowflakes on your tongue.
The church also has seasons. We just finished the season of Epiphany. (That’s the one where the Wise Ones followed the star.) And now we’ve begun the season of Lent.
“Lent” is a churchy word. It kind of sounds like “lint” –the stuff that collects in the dryer after tumbling a load of wet clothes. “Lent” is a very old English word that people used to use to mean “spring.”
Though we are about half way through winter, spring is on the way. Lent is the season where we prepare for Easter.
So how do we prepare?
Well, have you ever heard of spring cleaning? (We could also call this “Lent” cleaning!) This is a good time to clean out your closet and drawers and toy boxes and book shelves. Do you have a sweater or sweatshirt that can you give away that might keep another child warm? Do you have some toys that you could give away so another child could play? Do you have a book or two that you could part with that another child might read them? I bet you do. That would be very generous and kind of you.
Lent is the season to keep things simple. So, kind of like spring cleaning, in church, we clear away the fancy things like silver and flowers to help us remember what is most basic and important. Faith. Hope. Love. Generosity. Forgiveness.
God asks us to keep Lent simple, so when Easter Sunday comes and the spring flowers bloom, we will be overjoyed and so ready to celebrate God’s good news to the high heavens!!
And as a bonus, here is a great song, written by Shakers a long time ago. Take a listen to the cellist Yoyo Ma and Allison Kraus play and sing “T’is a Gift to be Simple.”
The Rev. Joani Peacock, Editor for Emmanuel Voices: A Parish Blog