Beautiful Redemption

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February 13, 2013, begins the season of Lent.  During Lent we journey toward Easter by looking within ourselves to see how we as individuals and a society fall short of God's vision for us.  This is a time set aside for letting God work within us as we go through the process of self-examination; casting off those habits and practices which lead us away from God, and taking on those habits and practices that contribute to our spiritual vitality, restoration and renewal.

The word "Lent" comes from the old Anglo-Saxon word lengten, which means "springtime," named so for the time of the year in which it occurs.  A time for renewal.

You’ve heard the term "Spring Cleaning," right?  Sure you have.  Each year we sense the urge to look around our homes and get rid of a bunch of stuff.  We go through the cycle of cleaning out the clutter in our homes, bedrooms, or dorm rooms.

This is what Lent is about.  It’s a "spring cleaning" for our souls.  We search within to find all of the stuff that really doesn't need to be there, or shouldn't be there, and we empty those things from our lives, inviting Christ to dwell in their place.

Lent is as much about taking on as it is about giving up.  During this season, let us practice 'engaging' spiritual habits: such as prayer, service and meditation; as well as 'abstaining' spiritual habits: such as fasting and silence.

Here is a terrific song as we begin this season of Lent:

I’ve had my forty days and forty nights at sea
I’ve had forty years in the wilderness, or so to speak
I’ve walked with sand from the ocean floor on my feet
To turn and say you left me

I’m a doubting Thomas in needing to believe 
I’m a perfumed sinner just like Magdalene
I’m Judas kissing on your cheek eager to decieve
I am all of these

I cry, Father, Father, forgive me
You say, child, I already have
You are beautiful, beautiful redemption
You are beautiful, beautiful redemption

I’m the guilty thief that’s hanging by your side 
and my shame is dying with your sacrifice
And all my fears come crashing down as I look in your eyes
I see paradise

Hallelujah (we all, we all, we all fall down) . . .

You are beautiful, beautiful Redemption
You are beautiful, beautiful Redemption