Today begins the season of Lent, a 40-day journey to Easter but does not include Sundays because they are “little Easters,” which actually equals to 47 days (according to my calculation). Yesterday was Fat Tuesday, the so-called last hurrah before Lent ushers in a time of sacrifice, self-searching, and often the practice of giving up something for the 40-day (47-day) interval. The practice goes back hundreds of years.
The church tradition under which I grew up never practiced Lent. As an older adult I was employed by a church that did celebrate the Lenten season, and I learned from them. I pondered it but didn’t participate at first. The following year, I decided to give up something for Lent. Critical words. I thought that wouldn’t be too hard. Wrong. I became painfully aware of how often my thoughts and words were quite reproachful.
It taught me a valuable lesson, not only about myself but about the preparation for the season, a looking toward the death, burial, and resurrection of the Savior of the world.
While I am a member of a church somewhere else now, a place that does not practice Lent, I find being in anticipation of the occasion is helpful. A thoughtful journey toward the season of Passover and Resurrection Sunday may be just what is needed. If I truly want to be Christ’s follower, to love like He does, to listen and obey the Father’s will, then I should examine myself.
And the weeks before the Sunday called Easter is a good time to focus in that direction. While we dig out of snow here in the south, I long for spring, the re-birthing of flower and tree. How appropriate to envision the place of the soul without Christ in a deep winter while His gift of salvation is the hope of spring and new life.
Last year, I partnered with my sweet friend Robin to lead us on a 40-day journey to Passover and Resurrection Sunday. I’d like to go there again and hope you will come along.
Would you be willing to review and remember? We watch reruns on TV or go with a friend to a great movie we just saw. We read special books again. We listen to the same news over and over. And need I say anything about our favorite songs?
Perhaps a little repetition will be helpful. Perhaps truth will sink in, take root and bring forth fruit.
Our 40 days will begin next Wednesday, February 25 because I will be counting all the Sundays. I hope you will travel with us.
Look for the introduction next Tuesday, February 24 and get ready for 40 days leading up to Passover and Resurrection Sunday starting February 25.
I don’t know about you, but I am longing for spring, new life, new beginnings.