What does Lent have to do with me?
As a child I never heard people talk about Lent – except maybe when Mom instructed me to clean the fuzz out of the clothes dryer (“Lint” and “Lent” are two very different things, but they sure do sound the same down here in the south, especially to a 3rd grader).
As I grew older, I saw Lent as a 2nd try on your New Year’s Resolution. Did you fail at giving up sugar in January? You can always try it again in March!
When I finally discovered that Lent is in fact a 40-day season Christians set aside to prepare for Easter, I assumed it was for someone else. All I had ever done to prepare for Easter was pick out a frilly dress and ask my mom to make green bean casserole for lunch.
I do not think I even knew an evangelical Christian who observed the season of Lent.
And yet, as I've explored more, I've grown to appreciate the season of Lent, not for the external actions with which we often associate it, but instead for how it helps me refocus on what truly matters – the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Instead of seeing Lent as an opportunity to lose a few pounds, impress my friends with my self-discipline, or re-start a failed New Year’s resolution, I've learned that Lent can be a wonderful time to intentionally spend 40 days reflecting upon the glory of the Gospel.
Starting today I’ll be fasting from something I enjoy, but what I fast from is definitely not the point of Lent: Jesus is!
I’ll also be reading through the Passion Week recorded in the Gospel of John, meditating on one chapter per day. I’ll start today in John 12, read through John 21, and then begin again until we celebrate the Resurrection together on April 20th.
Not only this, but I’ll be praying for opportunities to talk about what I’m learning with those around me. What a wonderful opportunity to start a spiritual conversation and share with someone about what Christ has done for us!
Here are my questions for you: Would you be willing to try Lent this year? What could you do to intentionally focus on magnifying Christ and His sacrifice over the next 40 days? How can you use this season of reflection to talk with others about the One who has made all the difference for you?
Emily Anthony loves collecting polish pottery, hiking in the mountains, helping teenagers with their algebra homework, and talking with women about what God is doing in and through their lives. After spending six years serving as a missionary teacher to third culture kids in Budapest, Hungary, Emily returned to the United States to pursue Masters of Divinity in Women's Studies here at Southeastern. She recently began serving as a ministry assistant for Embrace Women's Missions and Ministry at the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.