Lent is the time when Christians follow the long pilgrimage to Easter. In winter, and in the midst of the pandemic we long for spring and signs of new life. Lent can be a spiritual springtime, a new beginning; a season where we return to the Lord, our first love, as we read in this passage from the prophet Joel:
Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
rend your hearts and not your clothing.
Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing.
Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him,
a grain-offering and a drink-offering. (Joel 2: 12-14:)
“Return to me with all your heart”, says the Lord. How do you find yourself responding to this invitation? How do you hear the call to return to God “With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning”? Do you experience the Lord as “gracious and merciful”? Is that how you normally think of God? Does a particular moment of grace and mercy stand out to you from your journey with God?