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Following Christ

 

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. (Mark 8:34)

Following Church Calendars brings in discipline, method and order, but Church Calendars can also become artificial, superficial and ritualistic, and the Season of Lent is no exception.

Originating in the fourth century of Early Christianity, the season spans 40 weekdays beginning Ash Wednesday and ending during Holy Week with Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and concluding with Holy Saturday and Easter. It is believed that Lent originally was a time of preparation for those who were to be baptized. Since Sundays celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, the six Sundays that occur during Lent are not counted as part of the 40 days of Lent, and generally referred to as the Sundays in Lent. The number is important among biblical numbers, but the 40 days in Lent particularly points to the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness preparing for the Public ministry (Mark 1:12-13), and the first words of Jesus is vivid with the words, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news" (Mark 1:15).

Lent today is marked by worship services, prayers, fasting, meditations and other personal ways of observance. I grew up somehow thinking that Lent is all about giving up something. But over the years, there is a realization it is not simply about the self, but Lent is about the 'other.' It is a call to follow Jesus Christ, it is a call to re-think and renew our commitment to Discipleship. It is a call to intentionally follow Jesus Christ, because Discipleship is not about a single aspect of our lives or social behaviour. It is about the whole life of a Christian and the whole people of God. It is about following the ways of Jesus Christ. In the words of the Apostle Paul, following Christ means that continually become a "New Creation". (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Hope that our reflections and meditations during the season of Lent will help us to reflect, meditate and make new beginnings to follow Christ.

Your Presbyter
Rev. Dr. Dexter S. Maben



 
 
   
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