Daily Dose, Feb. 19 — Holiness & Lent

  Therefore, prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed. Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; for it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:13-16) The Christian season of Lent began last week with Ash Wednesday. Like all Christian holy days and seasons, Lent has changed over the years, but its purpose has always been the same: self-examination and penitence, demonstrated by self-denial, in preparation for Easter. (Incidentally, there’s nothing particularly “high and holy” about the word “Lent.” It comes from an old word lencten which simply means “spring.”) It’s a season for us all to be more intentional about clearing away some of the things in our lives that distract us from being able to see -- and focus on -- God. There are many different ways to approach this process of clearing away: we may need to clear things from our eyes, our ears, our hearts, our minds, our motives, our desires, our behaviors, our speech, our attitudes…and more. So what is Lent? Consider it a spiritual version of spring cleaning. The concept is similar to when some of us take the time to clean up our houses. We spend time deliberately going into the places that sometimes remain hidden. We pull things out of closets…and we bring things out into the light. We make decisions, often weighing whether to keep or toss things by the question, “Do I need this anymore?” That’s a great question to think during Lent: “Do I need this in my life anymore? Does the presence of this action/speech/attitude/desire bring light or darkness to my life? Does this make me more or less holy?” The Scripture for today reminds us to seek holiness. In these verses, words from the Old Testament are quoted: “You shall be holy for I am holy.” During Lent, remember that you are made in the image of God. You are fearfully and wonderfully made…and you have been made for greatness. For holiness. For beauty. For eternity. Throwing things out can be a difficult, painful process, but the results are always better and more functional when we take the time to do it. Our souls work the same way. -- Rev. Brad Greene