Why bother observing Lent you might ask?

Lent is a 40-day preparation the church calendar gives us as an opportunity once a year to prepare for the service of Christ’s passion and Easter.

Since Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and the imposition of ashes we are reminded in a very concrete way of our own mortality. As Christians we believe that Jesus the Christ overcame the sting of death by rising on the third day.

Lent has been looked upon as a time to give up something that might be considered a vice: chocolates, smoking, or diet for weight loss. It can be a time to take a hard look at ourselves, some of the dark secrets that we all have and work on turning them to healing through Jesus Christ.

Lent is a time to look critically at how sincere we really committed about our faith. Living the Christian life can be difficult as Jesus is not a commitment among other commitments, but rather the commitment of our lives.

During Lent instead of giving up we can take on an act of giving even sacrificial giving to the marginalized in our community and/or in the world.

Lent prepares us to celebrate the awe and wonder and promise of Jesus’ resurrection. We too can be confused in our wonder as the disciples were, to the strangeness of that first Easter.

And so, I invite you to a holy Lent. Take up the opportunity to dwell upon the grief of our broken world, the sin within your heart, and the love of God that surpasses these realities. Reflecting on the hospitality of God, consider the needs of your neighbor, especially those without life’s basic needs. And, most importantly, in the gritty details of Lent, don’t forget—Easter is coming!