We live in 2018 in an age where the questions that besieged earlier generations such as: how was the world formed, what is the source of illness, what are stars, does God need pleasing to gain God's love, does God control the earth & nature, will God lift us away from problems and many similar questions.
Ancient people felt that they had to placate God in order to live. They saw the harshness of live with natural disaster, plagues, and day to day illness and made God the cause. Today we know differently. We know about an expanding universe, we know about and can demonstrate evolution, we understand genetically based illness, the impact of genes and the nature of bacterial and viral illness. The result is that when we are attempting to use the answers of ancient peoples to respond to the questions of today-many people look at Christians and say "Your answers are unbelievable!" They leave Christianity never to return!
We need to go beyond the storied metaphorical explanations that people used and re-visit our fundamental understandings in the light of what we know. The ancient wisdom is that God is love. This is still true. We know that God does not live in the sky as some being or distinct entity. We now understand that God is a mystical loving energy that created the universe. We know that God resides equally in all of human creation in equal measure. In addition, God resides in all of the animals and plants of the world, as well as the rest of creation.
We are Divine in our nature and carry this responsibility with us. When we act away from love in our daily activity, we are forgetting that we are the vessels of the Loving Divine. Lent is a time to understand our divine role and to come back in love and inclusion. We are modern people do not need to fall back to ancient literal understandings. We know differently and we can be faithfully honest as God is ever present residing in and among all of us and beyond.