by Jacqueline Snow
By March, we’ve pretty much settled into our new year. The weather is unpredictable, causing us cabin-fever and restlessness. In Louisiana, we start to yearn for a little festivity, such as Mardi Gras parades, crawfish boils and festivals. These things seem to be “in our blood” – inherited values of family, community and faith. We have some fun options to engage in, but we realize that Winter is still holding us back a bit. In addition to seasonal contrasts in climate, March often brings contrasts in spirituality for many Christian faith communities during Lent and Easter.
We know that the weather will stabilize soon, but not just yet. We know that the joy of Easter is approaching, yet we know that we don’t just suddenly arrive there. The weeks prior to Easter are transformational. Whether or not we call it “Lent” or observe specific Lenten activities, humility tugs at us prior to Easter. It has to. There’s no other way to get to Easter Sunday other than through the Lord’s Passion and Calvary. It’s natural that reverence, self-discipline and repentance accompany this seasonal shift in spirituality. It’s a holy time for disciples of Christ… a time to refine our understanding of His saving love.
“Holy” means “set-apart”. The time before Easter is holy – set apart and different from the rest of the year. We see the example Christ set by taking a 40-day retreat from everything prior to beginning His public ministry. We can follow His lead by also setting aside time and efforts, in each our own unique and personal way. As with Christ, this can prepare us for the next steps in our life of faith. As we navigate the spiritual adventures of contrasts and transitions this month, may God bless our efforts to grow closer to Him.