This article was written by a chaplain-friend of mine here at Fort Leonard Wood for publication in the post newspaper. In it, he offers a great explanation of the Christian season of Lent and encouragement for us to take advantage of this opportunity to improve on our relationship to God. A Special “thank you!” to Chaplain Gonzalez for allowing me to repost it here.
Make Space for God During Lent
By Chap. (Capt.) Guido Gonzalez Jr.
[Last Wednesday] began the season of Lent.
Lent is a season in the church year that begins on Ash Wednesday and extends for 40 days until Easter. Although often associated with Roman Catholicism, Lent is actually part of the common Christian faith shared by Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant believers.
Lent symbolizes the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert facing the temptations of Satan (Matthew 4:11). Like Jesus, during the 40 days of Lent, we as believers make time to pray more reflectively and focus on our relationship with God so his will may be done in us.
Through Christ, in the power of the spirit, looking to the Father, we too are encouraged and made able to face our own temptations and shortcomings so that we can grow into the men and women of God, we are called to become.
Lent is a time to look inward, to ask of the Lord, “to search me and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me to the life everlasting.”
Consequently, focused confession has marked the season of Lent from the beginning. As we confess and repent from sin, we make space for God’s cleansing and renewing grace. In James 5:16, God teaches his people “confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
Obviously, we do not have to wait until Lent to take stock of where we are in our relationship with God. However, Lent is a seasonal reminder to do just that. Along with confession, fasting has historically marked the season of Lent. We fast to make room for prayer and reflection, fasting can be from food but also any activity. Let me encourage you to make a new space for God during this season of Lent. Let him speak to you and guide you in the days ahead, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
(Editor’s note: Gonzalez is the 795th Military Police Battalion chaplain.)