Lent is here…
I grew up Roman Catholic, and there was nothing quite like Lent. At first, I did what every self-respecting Catholic does: I tried to do enough to seem spiritual without really sacrificing a lot. How did it work for me? Not so well- it was about the appearance, not the content of my soul. Then I became a Protestant, and in that freedom, many have heard me say, “I gave up Lent for Lent.” I was so spiritual in my freedom. Yet, in my youthful guise of freedom that let me take my appearance of being spiritual to a whole new level, I drifted further and further from the meaning of Lent: the beautiful, deeply telling meaning of a practice celebrated by generations of Christians over centuries. Those that celebrate Lent, (and yes, I am choosing to say celebrate!) know that for forty days we sacrifice something of significance to physically express the significance of God in our lives. Lent parallels the fast of Jesus in preparation as we too prepare for Easter- remembering to celebrate the conquest over sin and death. Lent has more than just the end though; it is the very journey to get there that brings value and depth.
1 Peter 4:13 Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory when it is revealed to all the world.
The journey of self-denial is the beauty of Lent. In this sacrifice, we partner with Jesus, as in the trials, to understand the depth of heartache and emotion to rejoice to see the glory of God revealed. Lent, my friends, is a celebration- it is the coming out party of God’s glory. Till next week!