St Paul writes to the Church in Ephesus, “Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt according to the desire of error, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true justice and holiness.” (Eph 4:22-23)
These two verses explains why the Church has historically celebrated the season of Lent every year; and why Christians should take the 40 days seriously. Continual growth and spiritual change is the door through which we all must walk through if we are to reach the goal of freedom and eternal life (Gal 5:1 and Eph 1:15-23) that God sets for us. Our spiritual life is organic. The supernatural life unfolds much like nature does, slowly revealing itself over time. Our human nature because we fight against many fallen tendencies takes time to reach to our full capacity. This growth happens as we mature under grace. We yearn for truth and a burning desire emerges within us to become a new person in Christ.
Jesus is man’s Redeemer. He is also the Dispenser of a new divine life which shall completely transform us into a new child of God. On our part we must have a strong desire to become a different person, we must be willing to mortify our old selves so God can raise us up as a new person in Christ. This desire and readiness to decrease and allow Jesus to increase in us becomes the first step to having a holy and profitable Lent.
On Ash Wednesday the Prayer Book leads us in this beautiful prayer…
“Almighty and everlasting God, You hate nothing You have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of You, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen”
Open your heart to Christ over these next 40 days. He will never disappoint you.