Spiritual Life

Don’t Give Up Something for Lent

Sunday, March 21st

by Pastor Dale Clifton,  Milaca Elim Meadows Chaplain

It’s been said “lent is a time of giving something up”.   Some folks decided to “give up” steak, chicken or coffee. Some have given up McDonalds, Facebook or Netflix. Some have given up cell phones, Facebook, or texting.  Some have given up the ‘snooze’ button, or even control of the TV remote! 

Lent is not intended as a time of simply giving something up… rather the “spirit of lent’ is to make a decision that prompts reflection and appreciation of what really matters. (The death, burial & resurrection of our Savior.) There’s a word found in the Bible that is meant to accomplish this same goal of reflection. It’s the word SELAH

Selah means “pause”. Some scholars say that it’s the pause of a musical interlude while other say that it’s the pause of reading the verses of scripture. In my opinion, the concluding result is the same… stop, be quiet, reflect, consider, ponder.  Here’s a passage of scripture that uses the word selah three times.  (Psalm 3)

1 O LORD, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me;
2 many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God. Selah 
3 But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. 
4 I cried aloud to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah
5 I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me. 
6 I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around. 
7 Arise, O LORD! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked. 
Salvation belongs to the LORD; your blessing be on your people! Selah

Did you read the word selah or did you take a moment & pause to reflect? The 1st selah is reflecting on hard times; the 2nd selah is the assurance of God answering prayer in spite of hard times, the 3rd selah is the promise of salvation for God’s people not matter what the times are like.

Selah sends a clear message to the reader… reflect with the Psalmist.

  1. When someone’s criticism wounds your soul: selah.
  2. When God answers your prayers: selah.
  3. When God rescues the needy: selah.    

I challenge you to use this powerful word throughout the scriptures.  I challenge you to use this powerful word throughout the year. Thus, even as Lent unfolds, on Maundy Thursday — Selah, on Good Friday — Selah & on Easter Sunday — Selah. When life happens – Selah!   

In conclusion:  My suggestion to you for the remaining days of lent is to not to remove something from your life, but to add something… add the word “Selah”.    

Dale Clifton has been serving as chaplain for Milaca Elim Meadows for 6 years. Previously, he served 24 years in the Evangelical Free Church.  He’s married and has 3 sons.  He especially enjoys bringing music to the residents – both guitar & (beginner) banjo.