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According to the church calendar we’ve entered the deep wilderness of Lent (the 40 days before Easter). But as gloomy as that may sound, it is very good news.

Most of us are so busy with our work, so addicted to our pleasures, so enthralled with our smart phones, and so resistant to our inner life that a nice long spell in the wilderness is just what we need.

It is Lent — a season set apart for the purpose of drawing closer to God. Unfortunately, the Lenten season often gets reduced to the question, “What are you giving up for Lent?” It’s not a bad question, but it can only take us so far. The real question of the Lenten season is, “Where in our life have we gotten distant from God, and what are the practices that will enable us to find our way back?”

People alive in the adventure of following Jesus reconnect to God together in prayer, relinquish what controls us (a practice called fasting), and re-imagine the way the world could be by giving just a little bit extra.

Today through the month of March—practicing prayer, fasting and giving—we infuse our lives with hope; developing a loving awareness through prayer, and realizing what the important stuff is through our hungers, and changing our focus from us to others though giving.

The Rev. Mike Woods is lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in La Crescent.


Coulee Courier and Houston County News editor

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