Why Bother With Lent – And What the Heck is it Anyway?

This year Lent starts February 13th. So what’s that all about? Lent is a traditional time in the Christian church to prepare oneself spiritually for Easter. There is documentation that this has been going on at least since the second century. But is it relevant today? Just because we’ve always done it this way, doesn’t mean we should keep doing it. Though it may need a bit of tweaking, it still has a lot to offer those of us living in the modern world. In fact it is perfect for us modern folk.

This is the era of holistic health. In order to assure that the whole person is being treated, practitioners of modern medicine now readily agree that a holistic approach to health must include all aspects of people’s needs, including psychological, physical, social and spiritual. Psychological therapy is now commonplace and no longer a source of personal shame, there is more and more attention being paid to the health of our physical selves, and certainly we are focusing more these days on the social aspects of our lives, but what about the spiritual? What are we doing to nurture and care for our spiritual selves?

Whether or not we have a formal religious life, our spiritual selves need attention if we are going to move into greater wholeness and health. So having a season set aside to give some extra attention to our spiritual nature could be just the ticket! Lent lasts from February 13th until Easter Sunday, March 31st.  That’s six weeks to spend time working on our interior landscape in order to become healthier. It is well known that interior spiritual health contributes to physical and emotional health, and can definitely lead to a healthier social environment as well.

If you are looking for some help getting started, Emmanuel has a fresh approach to the season of Lent. Each Thursday in Lent the people of Emmanuel are gathering at 7:30 pm for a program called Spirituality Through the Lens of the Arts. The first week deals with the five love languages of Gary Chapman. Did you know that we all have a particular preference to the way we give and receive love?  Do you know what yours is? Other topics to be covered include the book Proof of Heaven about near death experiences, the movie I Am,  producer Tom Shadyac’s journey of transformation after a bicycle accident, and the story of one woman’s use of music to deal with overwhelming grief.  This is definitely not the way we’ve always done Lent. The program is open to the public. New faces are always welcome.


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