Today we start Lent. Forty days of prayer and reflection. A happy season of renewal of relationships.
A time to reflect on how I relate to God. Do I pray, do I take God for granted? Is my relationship with God growing?
A time to reflect on how I treat myself. Am I conscious that I am the beloved son or daughter of God? Have any unhealthy habits crept in, which I need to let go of?
A time to reflect on how I treat others, such as my family, my friends, my work mates.
Am I respectful in my interactions with others?
Is there some relationship that needs mending, healing?
How do I treat God’s creation? Am I a good steward of creation? Do I look after the environment?
Do I have a contemplative attitude to the mystery of creation? Do I take time to smell the flowers and listen to the birds?
The liturgical colour of Lent is purple, a sombre, thoughtful colour.
On Ash Wednesday ashes are put onto our head. It is an ancient custom. It reminds us that the things of this world pass away.
Also, as we know from our experience of bush fires here in Australia, from the ashes comes new life, new growth.
So, Lent is a time of conversion, of renewal.
It is also a journey towards Easter.
At the end of Lent is Holy Week where we celebrate the passion and death of Jesus.
And then there is Easter, that amazing celebration of life and incredible love!