What I like most about the Season of Lent
I like that Lent is a time that we purposely slow things down. These 40 days are part of my personal journey with Jesus to Easter. It is the time in the Church calendar where each of us is humbly offered the opportunity to physically participate in the life of Christ. It is a time to recognize my humanity, to come to terms with my frailty (sinfulness) and my mortality, and to remember that what we do in this life matters. Jesus knew this, and during these 40 days Jesus was preparing for the ministry the Father had ordained for him. So lent then is a time of preparation.
There was never a time from this point forward that Jesus identity was not challenged. So as a follower of Christ and part of His Church, nothing is more important for me than to be clear about “Who I am in Christ.” Jesus temptations in the wilderness were less about turning “stones into bread” than about his identity. “If you really are the Son of God, turn these stones into bread.” So lent then is a time to affirm our identity.
The prophet Isaiah some 1600 years earlier cried in a loud voice to Yahweh the God of Israel “When will you rend the heavens and come down and save your people?”
Yahweh’s answer came on that day when Jesus and his cousin John stood in the Jordan River. It was a ministry & mission commissioning moment. And the “Heavens were opened, the Spirit of God descended, and the voice of the Father was heard to declare, “This is my Son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.”
As Jesus followers, we share His heart and His mission. Jesus came to heal the broken hearted, to deliver those held captive by whatever it is that holds them, and to give us life.
Lent for me is personal. It is a special time to purposely exercise the same spiritual disciplines Jesus himself practiced. Disciplines like, fasting, solitude, prayer, and meditation on the word of God. It is a time of inward reflection and self-examination.
So lent is a time of replenishment and repurposing for the ministry (a ministry of healing and reconciliation) in which God has called each of us.