RE (again)……a preface for Lenten Practices
Remember, Recollect, Return, Repent, Receive, Restore, Realign, Renew, Refocus
“Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy.” Pope Francis
RE=back, or again, or expressing intensive force to something
The historical events of Jesus’ life happened once, 2000 years ago. We return to these events each year during the Lenten Season, Holy Week and Easter so that we can ponder and embrace anew their significance to us and to our world. The meaning of the word “RE” is again. God invites us to “remember again” every year. This is not from a place of exasperation on God’s part. It is offered as a gift because He knows we need to be reminded of the depth of his love for us and invited to open our hearts to him in response.
The Lenten Season is a time to enter again into the Gospel accounts of Christ’s last moments with his disciples, the injustice of his arrest and trials, his emotional, spiritual and physical suffering, and his death and burial. It is also preparation for entering again into the joyful celebration of Easter. He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!
RE-member (be mindful of)
RE-collect (summon up)
Central to Lent is REMEMBERING what Christ did for each of us. Remembering helps us to prepare urselves for the gift of Easter. Preparing for Easter by companioning Jesus in his suffering reminds us of the depth of his love for us and allows us to open our hearts to him in response.
RECOLLECTING the events of what we now call “Holy Week”— the Gospel accounts of Christ’s suffering, crucifixion and burial — prepare us to experience Easter. Early in church history, pilgrims began coming to Jerusalem to see the physical places spoken of in Scripture, where Jesus lived, healed and proclaimed the good news. Among those most treasured by pilgrims were the places Jesus walked as he moved through the events of his passion. Over time as Christianity spread, it became increasingly more difficult - if not impossible - for people to make this pilgrimage.
In response, churches in Europe began creating replicas of the walk, recording The Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem --the Way of Sorrows--was the route believed to have been taken by Jesus through Jerusalem to Calvary. It was probably developed by the Franciscans after they were granted administration of the Christian holy places in Jerusalem in 1342. There have been variant routes since that time. Today, nine of the Stations of the Cross that were established by the Franciscans are located along the Via Dolorosa as it winds its way from the northwest corner of the Temple Mount to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, within which the remaining five stations are located. RE-MEMBERING is a journey that takes us back and helps to experience again the amazing grace of God’s love.
How can we engage this week in RE-MEMBERING?
- READ THROUGH the gospel of Mark. Notice how the entire gospel points to the cross. This is the shortest of all the gospels and the earliest one written. Meditate especially on the crucifixion account and remember again.
- MAKE A TIME-LINE of your life. Draw a line across a paper and mark down the times where you noticed God working the most in the timeline of your life. Even difficulty can lend itself to being aware of God’s imminent and transforming presence. Remember God’s faithfulness to you.
Lord Jesus may I remember, and never forget your sacrifice and great love for me. Amen
This material has been adapted from the Lenten Retreat series put out by Wellspring and purchased by WVPC.