See the 2023 Lenten Devotional Booklet written by the Churches of Los Alamos
Ash Wednesday and Lent are Times of Self Reflection in preparation for the Time of Resurrection on Easter Sunday. We commemorate not only the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but also our own journey where death and resurrection are metaphorically constant features of our personal spiritual lives.
On Ash Wednesday ashes are placed on our foreheads to remind us of our mortality: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” We also are invited to ask the Holy Spirit to join us during the 40 days of Lent as we examine our lives. We ask ourselves with the discerning power of the Holy Spirit where God would direct us to begin new lives with new directions and repent of our old ways.
Repentance does not mean feeling guilty about ourselves, beating ourselves up, or even saying we are sorry. Repentance in the New Testament means radically changing the direction our lives and minds have taken. The Greek word from the New Testament that is generally translated as repentance is “metanoia”. Metanoia literally translates as “after mind”. The words actually mean to turn one’s life, to change one’s mind, to move in a new direction, to know something new, to choose a new way of being.
Lent is a time of gestation where with God’s guidance we can grow to deeper awareness of God’s presence in our lives and actually make changes in our lives. On Easter we give birth to our new selves as we emerge from the “womb of the tomb.” This deeper relationship with God is what we yearn for so deeply: to emerge from the shadows of Lenten doubt into the brightness of Easter faith.