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Saturday, February 10, 2018

A Lenten Retreat Preview “Book of Lamentations”

Introduction Excerpt

The season of Lent has often been seen as a spiritual preparation for Christians to prepare our hearts for Easter’s sacrificial gift of grace. Sometimes we may choose a daily reminder, such as giving up a favorite treat or activity, to help acknowledge our commitment to focus on this spiritual journey. Or we might choose to set aside a special reflection time to go deeper into relationship through prayer and Scripture.

The forty days of Lent are considered a time of sorrow and grief that remembers Jesus was crucified to give us God’s gift of grace. Through Lent’s loss we begin to recognize the shadows and barriers we have set around God’s promises and reopen His call to pursue life under His influence.

Lament goes beyond our very heartsick trials to consider our even deepest sorrows, including those we may have hidden from ourselves.  A lament is considered a passionate expression of grief that we often instinctively neutralize because the pain is too hard to bear.

The “Book of Lamentations” expresses one of Israel’s worst seasons of history where death, decay, disease, and disillusion completely separated them from God’s presence individually and as a chosen nation. It is a brutal and unrelenting scripture. Yet before healing could be accepted, or God’s grace understood, the darkness needed to be brought into God’s piercing light. Like a surgeon’s skillful knife removing an unseen cancer before the spreading poison completely corrupts.

This reflective devotional journal is a mini-retreat to help become restored. By taking a few moments a day to pause as listeners we are invited to connect our spiritual hunger with the loving call God has given. We can recalibrate why Lent can bring a new beginnings into our lives even in the midst of extreme brokenness.

                                                     Blessings, Marcy

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