As we prepare to embark upon our annual lenten journey we might find ourselves tossing about the word LENT in our minds. No, it is not a version of LINGO where we need to provide the missing letters in order to find the correct word and win the game.

LENT is, however, an ordinary word, taken originally from the old English where it referred to springtime. In other languages, for example French, the word Carême and in Spanish, Cuaresma, seem to be connected to the 40 days that traditionally make up this period, and that remind us of the 40 days Jesus retreated to the desert and the 40 years of our ancestors’ wandering about in another desert in exile.

When we think of the word LENT, we could possibly associate the concept of borrowing. After all, did God not lend us our life to see what we would do with it? In the end, are we not responsible for growing it and making the most of it and then returning it, in its improved condition, to its Creator and Giver?

However, we choose to define it, LENT is an opportunity for all of us to stand back and take a closer look at our lives and then do some triage to reboot our worn and cluttered systems, to refresh the very core of our beings and to adjust our programs so that the lives that have been LENT to us may start anew to fulfill their original purpose of glorifying our God day in and day out.

As we pause our lives temporarily, or at least put them in a holding pattern, let us recall our God’s generosity to us at all levels, let us express our gratitude and let us support one another in prayer and thought and good deeds towards all of creation. Let us be renewed in our commitment to be open to acknowledging God’s gifts to us, his call to us and his promise of forever companionship.

Our Triune God has LENT us this time and chance; Let Everyone Now Transform our lives into gifts for the whole of creation. Let us walk hand in hand and forge new paths of justice, love and peace as we anticipate the grand alleluia of Easter.

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