Tomorrow we begin the season in the Christian calendar called Lent. The season of Lent is a time of contemplation and preparation. It is a time when we refrain from indulging in certain things for the sake of our souls.
It is not that continuing with the normal rhythm of life is bad or wrong. It’s just that in this season we are looking to bring into clearer focus the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ as it was incarnated in Jesus as he died on the cross and was raised from the dead on the third day.
In the season of Lent, we contemplate the reality of sin and the impact it has on our lives in our journey of faith. We take the time to look back at where we have been and to look forward to where we are going. This time of reflection and contemplation serves to prepare us for what we will be celebrating on Resurrection Sunday morning.
Lent is also a time of preparation. This means we are looking forward to the fulfilled hope of Christ’s resurrection. The regular rhythm of the liturgical calendar provides us with a framework that helps us to remember how the promises of God have been fulfilled throughout the passage of time. This continual call to preparation will persist until Christ returns. We need to be reminded that until we see the fulfillment of our redemption when we have finally entered into God’s eternal rest, we must not lose sight or lose heart along the way.
The journey of the Christian faith should be a steady and persistent walk with God. What this means for us on a daily basis is that in spite of the challenges we might encounter we can trust in God’s goodness toward us.
And so we enter the season of Lent. Readying ourselves to celebrate the great gift of salvation and the resurrection of Christ. But also recognizing that in order to properly appreciate this gift of grace we must put our hearts in a proper posture to receive.
I invite you to read the reflections and devotions over the next several weeks. Meditate on the ideas discussed. Pause when led to do it. Pray a little more than you may feel comfortable. Read Scripture seeking to hear rather than to be informed. In these small and simple practices, we cultivate the kind of faith that endures difficult times.
For many of us taking the time to consider where God has brought us can be challenging. But it is worth the effort and I invite you to join this journey towards Easter morning as we contemplate various ideas over the next few weeks.