Officer praying in temple

The Joy in Lent

Three Ways You Can Begin Your Journey this Lenten Season

The forty days leading up to Easter is a special time. While Lent is marked by serious reflection of one’s life, this is not the absolute focus of the season. Lent, ultimately, is about blessed preparation toward becoming more Christ-like with God’s help.

One of the first places where Jesus mentions what our lives should look like is in His “Beatitudes.” The Beatitudes are a Christian’s guide for life and teaches us what our attitudes, as believers, should be after this self-reflection.

In Matthew 5:3 the Bible says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (NIV)” This is not meant to be a financial or depressive condition. Jesus is teaching us to be conscious of our own sin and realize  that we are totally dependent on Him for salvation. The word “blessed” in this context means happy. It is not about sorrow or feeling down, but about joy.

Time of Reflection

During this season of Lent we should be reflecting and rejoicing in the fact that God loves us, Jesus saves us, and the Holy Spirit lives in us. Only by knowing and accepting this dependence on God can we truly embrace Him in our daily living and realize that there is life in Jesus.

Instead of beating ourselves up over what we did not do this past year, take these forty days to learn to depend on God, and to do so with clarity and joy. This is the time to return to God’s Spirit so that our lives are in line with Jesus’ actions and attitudes.

Three ways to begin your journey of Lenten Joy

  1. Recognize your own sin.

Sensitivity to sin does not mean a constant state of despair, but of joy. Only by recognizing our sins do we know that God is speaking to us.

  1. Allow God to melt your heart.

Have you ever cried, or almost cried, when you are watching a movie? This sensitivity is what God wants in your relationship with Him. See yourself for what you are and allow God to help you.

  1. Stretch your response, don’t narrow it.

As you become more sensitive to whom you are, you become more aware of your standing before God. You are more aware of the forgiveness God has provided for you. This awareness also brings a whole new outlook about others, seeing people as someone to love instead of someone to use.

Serving Others

The late William Booth, the Founder of The Salvation Army, wanted to contact his officers and soldiers around the world with a message of encouragement. He sent a telegram but, in order to save money, the telegram read one word, “Others”. This was a reminder to them that we are never more like Jesus than when we are serving others.

If, for you, Lent is a time to serve those who are in need, we invite you to volunteer with us. The Salvation Army has a wide variety of programs that serve children, the elderly, and the homeless. We are always in need of volunteers who would like to provide Christ-like help to those who are most in need.

You Are Invited

We also invite you to join us at one of our five Corps (churches) for Sunday worship. We would especially love to see you at one of our Corps for Palm Sunday, April 9th, and/or Easter service, April 16th.

To learn how you can get involved, we invite you to reach out to the location nearest you or call our main number (713) 752-0677 to learn more.


 

About the Author:

Major David Feeser is the Officer of our Salvation Army Northwest Corps Community Center.  Major Feeser, along with his wife Major Louise Feeser, have served at our Northwest location since 2013.