As Barbadians prepare to climax of the Lenten season and usher in Easter, a leading Anglican cleric has urged Barbadians to avoid the “superficial” and make lasting, wholesome changes to their lives.
Reverend John Rogers told Barbados TODAY that while it is a tradition at Lent to give up indulgences, Christians miss the true meaning of the sacred period when they fail to renew themselves.
“Traditionally people have given up their drinks and meats and it does have some significance because you are really identifying with the plight of those who are less fortunate in the community and so on.
“In reality, the Lenten period is about change – metanoia, the Greek word for repentance – because we should be really seeking a transformation of self during this period. We reflect on our lives to see if there is something that we want to change about ourselves, that we want to give up . . . but many persons do not go into Lent seeking that metanoia, they just seek to give up something for the period,” he said.
Reverend Rogers urged Barbadians to “tear open” their hearts to see “what is in there that needs to come out so that it can be replaced with what God would have it replaced with”.
He lamented that Lent and Easter, regarded as the most sacred period on the Christian calendar, was losing its sacredness, even among believers.
The priest also noted that while traditional churches continued to observe the liturgical calendar, a number of the newer denominations were not part of that tradition and did not observe the sacred period.
“So whenever Easter pops up they jump and sing a few hymns and celebrate Easter, but the real passage that leads us to Easter is not a part of their tradition and perhaps that adds, I daresay, to persons not taking it as seriously and persons not recognizing the seriousness of the period,” he said.