In Palm Beach we have two seasons: (1) positively delightful, and (2) heat and humidity. We’re still in the delightful season, which makes Lent here a little different from the rest of the country. Friends up north are enduring gray skies and snow. Here we revel in blues and greens and the balmy temperatures that make this place a slice of paradise. It doesn’t feel particularly penitential, does it?

And yet, it IS Lent. Our setting reminds us that this season of self-examination isn’t strictly about gloom and sadness. It’s true, in Lent we identify things that hinder our relationship with God. It might be an unhealthy attachment to food or drink, a pattern of anxiety and worry, or keeping Christ at a distance because we’re just “too busy.” Changing hearts and habits can produce temporary discomfort. But the point of Lent is to ready ourselves to celebrate the resurrection. What could be more joyful than that?

Another way to approach Lent is to adopt new, positive practices. You might attend Bethesda’s Wednesday 12:05 p.m. services and Lenten Lunches. Consider coming to our Quiet Day on Saturday, March 18, to deepen your prayer life. Or tune in to Lent Madness, Father Tim’s brainchild, a delightful way to observe the season and deepen your knowledge of Church History at the same time.

Lent in Florida may be marked by tropical color rather than gloomy grays. Nevertheless, it is OUR Lent. I invite you to make the most of it, and greet Easter Day with all the joy you can muster.

The Rev. Susan R. Beebe