Churchy words can be weird. (That’s why Pastor Mike has a six-part series talking about them.)
Pretty soon you’ll be hearing another one: Lent.
The word Lent—an old word for the season of spring—is used by churches that follow the traditional seasons of the Christian church year. Just like we know weather seasons, some churches follow seasons of Jesus’ life. Lent is the time when they pay close attention to the mistakes that separate people from God and Jesus’ mission to reconnect us.
So how do people “do Lent.” I mean, it’s pretty different from Christmas. Christians don’t usually put up Lent trees or give Lent presents or open Lent calendars filled with chocolate each day. Some people add going to church on Wednesdays. Others choose to give up something to remind them that Jesus gave up the glory of heaven to come to earth. Some people add a task to their daily habits.
Some years I “do Lent”; other years I don’t. This year I’ve decided to add one thing each day. In addition to my daily Bible reading, I’m going to pick one passage each day that keeps me focused on what Jesus has done for me; it’s not at all about what I do for him. Some of these are my favorite passages that share how Jesus changes my life and my eternity. Others are seven phrases he said while he was hanging on a cross. Others show that Jesus fulfilled every prophecy made about him.
Want to join me? Each day from March 2 (known as Ash Wednesday) until Easter, read one passage. Take a deep breath. Read it again. Then say a prayer. If you want a paper copy, download or print the document from here. Otherwise, you will find them on the Time of Grace Instagram page as stories each day. Join us there; then share with others so they will know what Jesus has done for them too.
*Very important caveat*
The Bible is totally clear that Christians are not required to do any of these things, but you are free to do these things if they help you focus on Jesus. God does not love you more if you “observe” Lent, and he definitely does not love you less if you don’t. Jesus has already guaranteed God’s complete love for you. The only goal for observing Lent should be “to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:18,19). Frankly, that’s the goal of a Christian’s whole life.
Linda Buxa is a writer and editor who thinks that a Lent calendar filled with Lindor truffles wouldn’t be such a bad idea.