| Ash Wednesday is now less than a week away. This is the beginning of the Lenten season for Christians. The season of Lent is the 40 days (excluding Sundays) leading up to Easter. It is a time of repentance, reflection, and personal re-dedication to God, remembering what he did through Christ, preparing for the Holy Week which is culminated by Easter.
It is also a remembering of Jesus' 40 days in the wilderness at the beginning of his ministry. Jesus spent purposeful time fasting and dedicating himself to his father in preparation for his ministry. The observation of Lent is a Christian tradition followed for thousands of years, and yet, I don't know if there was ever a time that needed to recapture the "40 days of wilderness" more than the time we live in.
The world we live in is going "100 miles an hour", never stopping to do much reflection or dedication. It is all about the now, and our memories and attention spans grow shorter every day. The observation of Lent reminds us that we can not live life as we should with out God, and that maybe the most important "productive" thing we can do is to stop and pull away from everything.
This "pulling away" has been traditionally done by Christians during Lent by the disciplines of prayer and fasting. Also, many give up things other than food to create that wilderness experience, being alone with God.
I did not grow up in a church that observed Lent. I think this is sad for it adds so much to my faith. I am still praying about what God is desiring for me to give to him this year. Lent is difficult, just like it was difficult for Jesus in the wilderness, but God does a good thing in the repentant and dedicated person.
Labels: Christian Calendar, Lent, Repentance