Today is the first day of Lent! Our family will be using The Jesus Tree and A Place at the Table by Chris Seay to help us focus our minds on Christ. Lent is not mentioned or commanded in the Bible, but prayer, fasting and denying ourselves are certainly mentioned. As Christians we obviously celebrate Christ's resurrection every day. However, if I’m honest, what really happens in my life is that somehow, even something as miraculous and all-powerful as the Son of God rising from death can sometimes becomes rote. I let things become a habit. But when I take the time to pray and fast and focus on these last days of Jesus' life here on earth it becomes so much more. I feel so much more connected to it. When our family methodically goes through the scriptures and spends time in reflection on Jesus' time in the wilderness and the events of his last week it changes us! How can it not?
Lent loosely mimics the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness wrestling with Satan. For me and for you it is a time to retreat with our father and remind ourselves how utterly dependent on Christ we are!
"Lent begins with this realization. That we are a people in exile. That we are wandering far from our true home. And thus the beginning of repentance isn't merely the terror that one finds wandering in a strange land; the beginning of repentance is homesickness.
Lent teaches us to fess up to how often we
settle down in the land of our exile as though it were our true home;
attempting to still the yearning
the Spirit has created by throwing at it physical or psychological pleasure,
and how it never works."
- Pastor Will Weedon