Lent & Lengthening of Days

Have you noticed the days lengthening? They are still 24 hours long but each day the sun shines more and more. Actually, the sun continues to shine year-round, but we see it and bask in it as the year progresses.

Our perspective is so important here. Physics and astronomy might say one thing but until we experience it those truths mean little to us.

I am challenged this Lenten Season, which is named to describe the lengthening of days, to check on my perspective. I can look at life through my own quite selfish lens and be unsettled and unhappy, or I can seek the omniscient God’s perspective.

My mother uses to have an expression, “Its as plain as the nose on your face!”. By this she meant that the thing she was saying was obvious. When she would say that I would try and see the nose on my face. It was not obvious to me. Others could see my nose and I could see my nose reflected in the mirror, but I could not make out the thing that was so obvious to those who had a different perspective!

Lent is a time to see things through God’s eyes, to see truth that he makes plain in his Word. This year as I began to meditate on Lent and its meaning, I was struck with the idea that God was literally giving me more time or day light and that perhaps he wanted me to “redeem the time”. As the sunlight breaks in early and departs more slowly I have opportunity now to use the time to bless God, my neighbour and myself. I bless myself by gaining a fresh perspective seeing my true nature reflected in his Word. I bless God in growing devotion, and I bless my neighbour by putting into practise the things that are plain as the nose on my face!

Lent all to often has devolved into a selfish exercise of deprivation and self-righteousness. I would rather that it be turned into a ‘blessed season’ where I gain perspective and grow in practise. Rather than “What am I giving up for Lent?” I want to ask, “How best can I redeem the extra daylight God gives me?”

Here in Lent the days get longer and longer. They will plunge into metaphorical darkness on Good Friday and end with the Sun of Righteousness breaking from the tomb which can not hold him. The Light has come. The Light is coming (more and more). The Light will one day come and there will be no need for sun or moon for he will be our light!

Much of my ministry has been forced online this past year. I do a Bible Study three days a week and lately we are doing Romans “12 Minutes With Paul”. For years I had studied Romans and I taught it at Taylor College. I had even toyed with the idea of writing a devotional book on this epistle. I discarded that idea when I realised how many others had already done that. I have avoided teaching on Romans for the past few years because I get so excited and bogged down in its dense minutia. The last weeks have been a refreshing return to this great book, which ranks second only to the Gospels in import on my life. I have tried not to bog my hearers in detail but some days we only look at one verse. I so enjoy chapter 8 after the dark chapter 7. This study seems apt as we experience this Lenten Season.

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