Reflect, Repent, Recommit
In this short series of thoughts through Lent, I hope to explore some of the traditional themes of this season – and help us think about how we apply these at work. With thanks to Chris Thorpe for the excerpts from ‘Apprentices and Eyewitnesses’ published by Canterbury press. As it’s Ash Wednesday this week, I’ll start there.
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. As soon as he came up out of the water, he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well-pleased.”Mark 1:9-13
Immediately the Spirit drove him into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and the angels were serving him.
“Ash Wednesday is a time to inhabit the deepest part of ourselves, perhaps to face up to some of the things that we have buried deep, some of the memories and experiences that have hurt us, and we have not been able to face, perhaps to look at some parts of ourselves that are hidden, the deeper longings and hopes that we have not been able to bring to the surface for all sorts of reasons, and maybe because of the busyness of our lives.” Pg7 ‘Apprentices and Eyewitnesses’
Even as I re-type these words from the book, some events in my past career hurtle to mind. Hurts, disappointments, ‘failures & successes’, ambitions. I think that some of these have been reconciled, but there is no doubt that some still cast a long shadow on my today, as well as my tomorrow. John 8:12 says: Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.” I believe that He is able to free me – and you, from the darkness of the shadows of our past.
Why not find some time this week to reflect, if necessary repent, and recommit in faith the things of yesterday, to walk in the true light of life that Jesus promises tomorrow.
God of our deepest selves, as we walk with Jesus in the wilderness,
as we face our fears and doubts,
as we leave behind all that has weighed us down,
may we tread with lightened step,
through the forty days of Lent,
knowing that we are dust,
and to dust we shall return,
but will come to Easter filled with joy,
knowing that we are loved
and meant for life with you forever.