I was driving home tonight thinking of Lent (which begins tomorrow). I was thinking "what AM I going to take on?, what AM I going to give up?, what does Lent meant to ME?" And there, in front of me, was this somewhat bizarre personalized plate: Nu Faz. It took me a second before I came up with what is, I assume, the meaning: New Phase.
The beauty of the Church Year is that we get to enter New Phases. Yes, they are artificial. The seasons are constructs from earlier times, based not only on biblical events but also on European agriculture. But how often in life do we get to enter a new phase? When we move, or change jobs, or get married? Maybe at the New Year?
In the Calendar, we enter new phases at regular times. And not only that, but these phases are marked by different emphasis. They begin ceremonially, and end ceremonially. They have their own color (literally), their own flavor. These are not personal phases, they are corporate. I'm not entering Lent, WE are entering Lent. And not just here in Nashville, but all around the world.
So now is the time for a New Phase: Lent. A purple season, a time for prayer, fasting, and self-denial. A time for looking inward, as well as looking upward.
I, for one, need a New Phase. I need a push into a renewed sense of who I am in Christ. I'm hoping that Lent will do that for me. Actually, it already has. Preparing for this Lent has been a great blessing to me. I'm hoping that God has even more in store.