“Lent is a time for discipline, for confession, for honesty, not because God is mean or fault-finding or finger-pointing but because he wants us to know the joy of being cleaned out, ready for all the good things he now has in store." — N.T. Wright
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10b)
This season has been observed by Christians for centuries to imitate the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert in order to prepare for his public ministry, and invites us to remember the events the led to his crucifixion. It’s a season that invites us to be still, to quiet ourselves, to go without, to pay attention, and to reflect on death, lament, and the difficult parts of life.
If it sounds gloomy, I’m describing it well—but Lent is also all about leading us to the celebration and joy of Easter. It is only by seeing the lack in life that we can fully celebrate the beauty and abundance of Jesus and his being raised to new life. Therefore, the season of Lent is about preparing ourselves for the new life that Easter reminds us is possible.
I didn't grow up observing a season of Lent.
I only looked forward to Easter - mostly because it involved receiving candy that I was never allowed to have the rest of the time.
What I am learning is that this season of Lent provides a framework, a way to focus on things I would otherwise try to avoid. Topics like grief, darkness, despair. But a season of Lent BEFORE the resurrection only deepens the joy and the celebration of the amazing gift we have been given as believers in Jesus.
So join our Lent devotion team in these next few weeks to focus - sometimes in weighty, uncomfortable ways - on topics and ideas we might not prefer, all the while knowing that there is joy that is coming!
Learn along with us to sit in whatever place God is taking you - remembering that He is sitting with You, and that Joy is coming!
We ask that You would be so near to us as we focus on our sin, our shame, our weakness, and all that caused us to need rescuing. We acknowledge our own need of a Savior, and we ask that You would fill us with Yourself in these next weeks. Allow us to feel the weight of what You want us to feel, yet knowing that You have already taken care of every little bit.
In Jesus name,