It feels surreal to think that 2 years ago I gave up blogging for Lent and this year I am taking it up again for Lent. Since moving, I’ve posted far less often than I used to. For the next several weeks, that will change.
I pondered this first post all day yesterday, Ash Wednesday. Sadly, I never actually got the time to write it.
“Lent,” I read somewhere, is an archaic word meaning “spring,” as in the season. It stands to reason, as Lent always overlaps with spring, and certainly at least always occurs during the time of year when the days start getting longer. (I hate to cite wikipedia as a source, but this information is corroborated there)
So, on Ash Wednesday, as I am pondering ashes and burlap and dead branches and crowns of thorns, I realize that I am, that we are, considering all these things, stark, rough, lifeless as they appear, for the sake of life.
Lent is, after all, about preparing for resurrection. While Jesus did say that death precedes life (John 12;24), and that numerous times called any who would follow him to deny themselves (Luke 9:23, for instance), I believe we have sapping the wisdom from these teachings in the interest of legalism and moralism.
As UnChristian pointed out, many people think of Christians first with words like “judgmental” and “hypocritical.” We have earned the reputation because too often we have made following Jesus more about a list of things we don’t do (and you shouldn’t either!) than about the quality of life Jesus offers through his death and resurrection.
So, while Lent may include practices of introspection, somber moods, self-denial, etc., we do well to remember that these are not the point.RESURRECTION IS THE POINT!
Whatever you do during Lent – whether you take on something or give up something, may you do it with the goal of resurrection life in sight, not simply to prove to yourself, others, or God, that you can make a change for 40 days.