Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Enough of Lent

For me, there is never enough of Lent. Lent is the season of the Church year that gets me through the tough times. For me it is more uplifting than even Easter. As much as I love Easter and the glorious hymns of the Resurrection, their joy and glory come only in connection with the austere season of Lent.

I remember as a child and a teenager often being disappointed on Easter because we did not sing enough hymns. And my family attended at least three services on Easter Sunday. But especially as a teenager, I wanted to sing every hymn of the Resurrection in the book. Why? The season of Lent made me hungry. The season of Lent taught me why the Resurrection is both absolutely necessary as well as why it is possible.

It is the Lenten theme that carries me through every day. Yes, the awareness of the resurrection is my hope, but the theme of Lent is what makes the hope of the resurrection real.

Lent is God’s cure for depression. When I am feeling down and depressed, it is the hymns of lenten focus that lift me up. I also sing “The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want” (TLH 436) regularly, but the hymn that I can always count on to lift me out of the depths is TLH 146: “Lamb of God, Pure and Holy.” Nothing in this world has been able to drag me down beneath the reach of this hymn. Other Lenten hymns will come into my heart throughout the year as well, but this one is very easy to memorize and carry in my heart and mind. Moreover, this hymn does not mess around with anything other than the raw power of God. When I am hurting and despairing and depressed, this hymn unleashes the raw power of God to drive out all but the glorious power of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Death itself is rendered powerless by this simple hymn and what it preaches.

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