“Let us strive to know the Lord, his appearing is as sure as the sunrise. He will come to us like showers, like the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:3
These words formed part of a canticle said during Morning Prayer the other day. And as is sometimes the case with words said during morning prayer, later that day it struck me how apt they were for me personally, and indeed for the time of year. You see, for one of my Lenten practices I have decided to take up running again in an attempt to get fit. And as it turns out on the very day that I read the words above, during the later run I was dampened by a shower. To say that this was refreshing is an understatement, falling as it was on a hot and tired runner. But more than this, the signs of new life around me in the form of budding trees, plants and flowers were also signs that this spring rain was watering the earth, bringing life and colour back to the world.
For me this said one thing very clearly; that Lent that we are heading through alongside the season of Spring does not need to be a dour and solemn time. It does not need to be about wallowing in sadness and shame. No, like Spring it can and should be a time of looking forward and growth. And this not least as the world around us is most certainly not looking back in sadness at what was, but growing and looking forward to what will be, thanks to God’s refreshing and sunshine filled presence.
And for me then, Lent is a time for us to do the same. It is a time to look forward to the new that we know God will bring and nurture, as opposed to focusing on the past with regret. For what better way is there to look forward to the time we recall the new life that Christ won for us at Easter, than by embracing the life that God is offering to us now? And embracing the truth that nothing need be looked back on with regret with God in our lives anyway. Andy