Saturday, 16 March 2013

Heart-Smart Holy Lent: a By The Way Column for the Medicine Hat News

Today is the twenty-eighth of the forty days of Lent (Sundays are not counted). We’re seventy percent done.

On Ash Wednesday many of us were invited to begin a forty day spiritual cardiac stress test using spiritual exercises. Lent is annual opportunity to check and see how well our spiritual hearts are working and how efficient they are. We watch for signs of spiritual arrhythmia and disease. We check to see that our hearts are where we, and The Lord, would like them to be. Our goal is to be heart-smart, full hearted followers of Jesus.

How do we generate the spiritual stress that tests? We accept the Ash Wednesday invitation and challenge, in the Name of The Lord, to observe a holy Lent by self-examination, penitence, prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, and by reading and meditating on the word of God.

Of course, these activities don’t have to be limited to Lent. We can and should engage in heart-smart spiritual disciplines all year round. The trouble is that most of us don’t. So God gave us a special spiritual treadmill called Lent.

These Lenten disciplines are absolutely trustworthy and effective heart-smart spiritual exercises, guaranteed to fight off spiritual heart disease. They make us fit for the Kingdom; fit enough to run and not be weary, to walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31); fit enough to obtain the prize (1 Corinthians 9:24-27); fit enough to love with all our hearts.

Why is this so important? Because of Jesus who’s heart on earth now beats in his body, the Church. Do these faithfully and our hearts will come to beat in time with his and we find and enjoy our heart’s true home.

There are still twelve days of the forty to go. It’s not too late to make a new spiritual heart-smart start.