There is much excitement about Advent and Christmas and rightfully so. The birth of Jesus is an awesome event and one that should be anticipated and celebrated. Though, after Christmas is over, we lose focus and start to dream of warmer weather.
We constantly search for something to get us through the bitter cold of winter until we can bask in the sun of spring and summer. Our approach as humans is often to hibernate. We stay inside and keep to ourselves because it is easier than facing the bitter cold. Let’s face it, what we really yearn is the reawakening of our hearts and souls, but we tend to respond by simply exuding a desire for warmer weather.
I didn’t grow up with a thorough understanding of Lent. When I was enrolled in a Christian college, we focused solely on Easter without diving into the details of the Lenten season. Different ministry assignments provided me with different views. One church celebrated Lent and invested a wealth of time and energy towards their Easter Sunday productions. Another church refused to acknowledge Lent because they viewed it as a pagan practice. Sadly, their Easter service didn’t address the Resurrection either.
Lent has been disruptive over the past few years and rightfully so. It calls us to repent. In a world that tells us that nothing is our fault and we should do whatever makes us happy, Lent realigns our spiritual spine. In Matthew 11: 28-30, we are reminded that Christ calls us to focus on Him.
“28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
We realize that God’s story is far bigger than our own. Lent reminds us that we can find deep restoration and joy in Jesus as we prayerfully prepare to be better disciples. It reminds us that the Gospel is not confined to the church building. We can be IN the church and yet not BE the church if we do not understand the origin of our purpose. Lent calls us to re-focus on the Journey that Jesus calls us to.
It also teaches us to prepare for the coming of our Lord. For it is written in Luke, Chapter12 “40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” The Resurrection of Christ on Easter is symbolic to what can happen when we submit ourselves to God’s will. A resurrected life is a life that looks to the Cross more often than it looks to worldly possessions for comfort.
I invite you to join me in prayer during this Lenten season as we seek His healing.
I will leave you with the following advice from our toddler, Mackenzie:
“Lent is good because you can give up what you're not supposed to do. Lent is good because you can give up the things that make you not be available to read Jesus’ books. I am going to give up saying that “I give up” when I am upset."