Reflections to ponder as you follow our Lenten Calendar
“Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the Earth” (Psalm 104) On Ash Wednesday we are reminded that we are created by God from the clay of the Earth. Despite being made in the image of God, we are creatures of the garden, and part of the community of all living things. As we come to understand that this community is sacred, we realise that our membership in it is an honour, a joy, and an awesome responsibility.
Most Christians are aware that the season of Lent has been, traditionally, a season of self-denial, and fasting. It has also been a time for those new to the faith to prepare for baptism. We what may not realize is that, during the forty days before Easter, Christians abstained not only from meat, but also from eggs and dairy. This is still the case in the Eastern orthodox churches. This practice was not merely a matter or penance, or an exercise in will power. There was the direct connection between “giving up” eggs, and milk, and meat, and the need to allow new life to flourish in springtime. It has important, in the spring, to allow the eggs to grown into chickens, to reserve the milk for the calves and kids, and to allow protect the young animals, for a while, from the depredations of humankind. Lent was a time in which humans, through self-restraint, acted in a way that is now explicitly included in our baptismal vows, to renew the face of the Earth.