The season of the Christian Calendar Year known as Lent begins this week on Ash Wednesday and continues for the forty days (not counting Sundays) leading up to Easter.
Lent is about preparation. We prepare our hearts and minds for Good Friday and Easter, those days that mark Christ’s sacrifice for our sins and victory over the grave. We realize and appreciate the significance of these days much more when we’ve properly prepared for them and retraced Christ’s journey to the cross.
Lent helps us focus on why He had to die. It’s the time for us to practice repentance and a sacred confession of our utter dependence on Christ. So there is much to love about Lent.
But there is much to leave. As with any ritual or symbol, Lent can be abused and made meaningless. To help us keep focus, let’s learn what to love about Lent, and what to leave:
What To Leave:
- Leave … another excuse to diet. Our culture is too focused on our bodies as it is. Don’t make this really be about an opportunity to fit back into your college jeans.
- Leave … the rules and regulations. Christianity is more than do’s and don’ts — even during Lent.
- Leave … the empty ritual. A good symbol becomes a bad ritual when we just go through the motions.
What To Love:
- Love … the opportunity to fast. You’re denying a want to focus on your one true need — Jesus Christ.
- Love … the chance to reflect. Tune out the world and tune into the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit.
- Love … the historic, global church. Countless brothers and sisters are making this same journey with you, beginning on Ash Wednesday.
Tomorrow I’ll give you a special Bible Reading Plan and a list of books for Lent.
What do you love about Lent? What do you think needs to be left behind?
Are you planning to step into this season of preparation and reflection?