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Archive for February 20th, 2009

The approach of Lent has provoked discussion among some friends about the appropriateness of it all. Should we do it? What’s the value? I’m throwing out some thoughts that are not fully formed or set so, feel free to challenge them, but it seems to me there is a wisdom in the ecclesiastical calendar that we see reflected in way God has ordained for time to pass each year: dressed in the garb of Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.

There are rhythms of life that are inescapable and absolutely essential. We would be worn to a nub if it was “always winter and never Christmas” — or if every day was a celebration or if there were no celebrations at all. If every day is the same, then life loses it’s mystery and glory.

Our lives follow the rhythm and pattern God has put into the seasonal cycle for most of the world. Winter is a necessary prelude to and preparation for the new life of Spring. Plowing and planting are essential if there is to be a Summer of growth and development into fruitful maturity. And without the growth of Summer there could never be the glorious finale of Fall with its harvests and in-gatherings.

We see this same general cycle in our lives. We are born “out of the darkness” of the womb and have a season of preparation and training. Seeds are planted in our youth and manhood which grow and bear fruit as we grow in maturity during our “Summer” years. Then, we reach the season of in-gathering. The labor of our lives begins to bring in the harvest (both joyful and disappointing) as we see the fruit of our labors and the results of our lives and examples mirrored and lived out in the lives of our children and their children. Finally, we come to the “wintertime” of our days. Our strength diminishes, the color is lost from our heads (either through baldness or grayness), our limbs lose their vigor and we prepare for the last night before the new dawn of eternal Spring. (more…)

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