top of page

Nancy Becker's Reflections

As it often happens, Lent kind of snuck up on me this year. Granted it does come early in 2024, which means that Easter will also come early.


Lent is traditionally a time to strengthen our spiritual lives so that we are more able to experience the joy of Easter Day. For some people Lent is a time to give up some aspect of their life, often certain foods or activities. In some traditions parties and even weddings were postponed until after Easter. These sacrifices were made as a sign of respect and remembrance for Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.


We Presbyterians tend to temper our Lenten sacrifices because John Calvin, our Reformed founder and guide to theology, thought that it is more important to remember that it is not our sacrifice or our efforts that make us worthy of God’s love, but rather the one-time sacrifice of Christ. And it is more important to focus on His victory over sin and death rather than our own meager efforts. 


Yet there is personal value in taking on some new spiritual disciplines during the forty days of Lent as a way of enlarging our souls, strengthening our faith and growing closer to God.


A variety of very good prayer and devotional guides are easily available. An excellent one can be found in the narthex or online titled “Wandering Heart.” Another one online from the Synod of Lincoln Trails is titled “The Poetry of Lent” based on Scripture and the poetry of Mary Oliver.


The most enduring prayer guide has been given to us directly by God in the Psalms. For Centuries Christians have begun and/or ended the day with a reading from this wonderful prayer/hymn book. There are 150 Psalms, and if we divide that by thirty days and read/pray about five per day, we can pray through the psalms in a month. This is a good thing for those of us who got a late start on our Lenten devotions!


Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer has written some suggestions about enriching our prayer time. Bonhoeffer is probably best known as the young German Christian whose resistance to Hitler’s Nazism led to his death in a prison camp just before the end of World War II.


Bonhoeffer writes, “Every morning lay upon God everything that troubles you before the fresh burdens of the day are laid upon you. Ask yourself what is still preventing you from following him completely and let Him be Lord over it before new hindrances come your way.”


He advises, “Begin meditating on a text of Scripture with a prayer or the Holy Spirit and for quieting the mind. Then simply read over the text letting it imprint itself on your mind. If your thoughts stray to people near to you or those about whom you are concerned, then this is the right time for specific prayers of intercession for the people the Lord has raised to your mind… We may never give up this daily concern with prayer and Scripture. For it is there that we find eternal life.” [Introduction to Meditation]


My prayer during this season of Lent 2024 is that each of us may make time for deeper prayer and deeper dependence on Jesus Christ so that when we come to Easter, we may all experience the joy of resurrection in our spirit.


Pastor Nancy Becker

Parish Associate


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page