Today marks the beginning of Lent and perhaps you’ve wondered what the deal is with Lent? Perhaps you’ve taken it a step further and contemplated what it means for you personally. Maybe you regard it as a religious exercise that isn’t relevant for us today. Wherever you are in regards to Lent or however you feel about Lent it is helpful to have a deeper understanding of it.
One reason for that is because the motivation behind Lent is to draw us closer to Jesus as we reflect on his death and celebrate his resurrection at Easter. Lent is the time of 6 weeks leading up to Easter Sunday and symbolizes the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness in fasting and prayer. Since we are no longer under the law we don’t want to allow Lent to simply become a tradition that is legalistic in nature when it is intended to be a means to experience the life and all sufficiency of Jesus.
While Lent is a tradition that started in the early church it is not mentioned or commanded in scripture. However, Lent can be a great time of fasting or giving something up in our lives to draw us closer to Jesus and reflect on his sacrifice for us. It would be fair to say that Lent is intended to draw us to the cross and the magnitude of our sin that separated us from God. At the cross we see the incredible sacrifice of Jesus that deals with our sin and redeems us so that we can come to God as his children.
So, perhaps you feel God calling you to a new level of prayer during this season of Lent or a more intense understanding of his death and resurrection. There are numerous comforts available to us in our lives that have abilities to dull us spiritually so that we minimize the importance of the cross and the life Jesus desires for us. If you do want to fast something consider options such as television, movies, social media, the Internet, coffee, certain foods, or even a meal a day.
If you're a parent you may want to consider how you can incorporate Lent into your family that will help all of you to grow in Christ.
I would encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit what he desires for you in regards to Lent and allow him the freedom to speak into your life to help you become more like Jesus.
Blessings during this season of Lent,