Some of you may recognize the name, Ed Lawrence. I have been a fan of his for decades. Every Monday noon hour he answers all kinds of gardening questions on CBC radio. I am sure that it has happened but I have rarely heard him stumped by a horticultural question. His love of gardening, his expertise, and his patience in dealing with people who do some of the strangest things have always impressed me. People rightly turn to him to help get things growing again.
If one accepts that Lent is a wonderful opportunity to amend our faith lives and get things growing again in our faith lives then the notion of seeking help with our Lenten disciplines is most a propos. We can turn to prayer, fasting and almsgiving, the traditional modalities of Lent, but we should not be limited to them.
Every year I invite people to take up the discipline of confession as a part of the Lenten journey. While I may not be to Lenten practices what Ed Lawrence is to gardening I am aware of just how God’s grace is operative in the Lenten discipline of confession. Not as a tit for tat transaction where one confesses and an absolution automatically follows. But as a second opinion on the matter of how well we are doing at making the changes we need to make in order to receive the grace filled gift of God’s new life at Easter.
Another very helpful discipline is our Lenten booklets by Henri Nouwen, available again this year. Or, if you have access to the internet I would like to recommend an online resource called "Love Life". It is Lenten series of videos sourced through the Anglican Church of Canada. It expands upon the notion that Jesus came to be with us so that we might “have life and have it more abundantly," (Jn 10:10). The web address is easy to find at the Anglican Church of Canada's website: www.anglican.ca/lent2014/ If you choose to subscribe to the series you will receive a daily video devotional right in your computer’s inbox!
Whatever media we choose I think we should approach Lent as a wonderful opportunity to amend our lives and hopefully find new life; and through God’s grace and love for us, find it more abundantly!"