As a Southern Baptist, I am not accustomed to celebrating Lent within the corporate body as our liturgical brothers and sisters do. But this does not mean that I am not aware of it on their calendars, and what this season means to every believer. It is a season to reflect on our humanness -- that our bodies are“ashes to ashes and dust to dust”. And I am reminded that each and everyone of us will die as well, unless the Lord should interrupt this earthly life with His return.
This thought led me to a blog by a Rev. William Cwirla, https://thefirstpremise.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/why-we-dont-do-ashes-on-ash-wednesday-by-rev-william-cwirla/ a Lutheranwho opts not to paint the sign on his parishioners, due to solid biblical reasons which he cites (the words of Jesus to not flaunt our piety) , but encourages folks to reflect on their own sinful mortality/ death to sin/ resurrection as a new creature. The ashen sign of the cross needs to be painted on our mind, soul, and spirit.
So I enter a new time of repentance, self-reflection, and commitment to holiness, similar to the one I sought last year. I know I will fail in some ways. We do not attain sinless perfection in this earthly body. But we never give up on seeking His likeness and living under His authority.
It’s a wonderful season, Lent. Let us, as Evangelicals and Baptists not overlook the benefits of it in our private, if not corporate, lives. While I have not yet practiced the giving up of food, I have fasted from practices that may lead to temptation and wasteand even today I don’t know that traditional fasting is what I will do. Maybe I’ll fast from social media or television. Maybe I’ll delete all shopping except groceries and necessities. I don’t know. But I do know I will spend time and effort to dig deeper into how He wants to continue to mold me into His image.
More of Him, less of me . . .