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By tradition, Lent is a season of intensity for Christians. Modeled after Jesus' forty days in the wilderness, the season is just long enough to remind us of the importance of plugging away at a discipline that deepens our faith and broadens our service. Christians throughout the ages have made this a period of self-examination, prayer and servanthood.
Lent is necessary as a season. It is, thank God, only a season and not our dominant view. And yes, I know that we talk about these weeks as a time of reflection and growth, of deepened fellowship, and a time to take on an enriching religious life and not just to give up, or confess, something. But let's not talk ourselves out of Lent's usefulness.
Whatever your situation, we challenge you to take advantage of an offer: a parish program this Lent of varied opportunities, times and places, and formats -- based on the theme for this year: Mercy. You may be eager enough to take advantage of all of this. You may be tentative enough to sample only what is most convenient. You may just log on and read these daily devotionals. Regardless, don't let this opportunity pass you by. Seize the season, join our Lenten pilgrimage.
I am grateful to all of our devotional authors. Let their minds, hearts, souls and words wash over you this season; may something of their offerings be a blessing during your Lenten pilgrimage.
Robert S. Dannals