I was pondering how to explain Lent to the children in our Sunday School classes. I can start with the obvious; the word Lent comes from an old English word meaning “long.” It comes at the time of the year when the daylight hours are getting longer and there are more sunny days. Just as the longer days bring more sun and light, Lent can bring more light to our lives. Lent is the forty days (not counting Sundays) before Easter and it is a time of prayer and self-examination.
I think the children understand that they need to pray — but how do we explain self-examination? We teach our children to stop, look and listen when they cross the street. If they get distracted or are in a hurry, the consequences could be disastrous. In the same token it is also important to teach them to stop, look, and listen as they travel on life’s journey. This is good advice for all of us. STOP! We live in a hectic and busy world so we need to STOP and LOOK for God and think about what God wants us to do. Are we the person that God created us to be? Then we need to LISTEN to God by reading the Bible and taking time to pray.
May we all, children and adults alike, STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN as we examine ourselves this Lenten season and may God’s love light our life’s journey as we move toward Easter.