Lent is a season to journey with Jesus in his passion, to survey the cross, taking measure of Christ’s love in his suffering and death.
Beginning on Ash Wednesday (March 5), Lent is the forty-day season leading up to Easter. (If you count all the days, there are more than forty, but the Sundays are not counted as part of Lent, as they are resurrection celebrations held throughout the season.)
Lent is a somber journey of spiritual preparation and renewal, marked especially by repentance and prayer. In our pain-averse culture, Lent stands apart by not shrinking away from suffering but cultivating in us the wisdom that growth often comes through suffering. In a time and place of religious freedom, where we mostly don’t suffer for following Christ, Lent invites us to willingly identify with Christ’s suffering through fasting or other forms of self-denial.
The spare and somber nature of Lent is healthy for the heart and true to the gospel, scrubbing away frothy spirituality by calling us to say no to ourselves in order to experience a greater yes in Jesus. It helps to imprint the form of the cross in our lives, recognizing that the news of the risen Lord Jesus in not good without the way of the cross. Lent prepares us to experience the reality of the resurrection joy only by first experiencing the depth of our sin that pinned Christ to the cross.
- excerpt taken from Seeking God’s Face: praying with the Bible through the Year