I am new to Lent, as many of you may be. Oh, I’ve heard of Marti Gras and Ash Wednesday. Over the past few years I’ve even fasted during the 40 days before Easter–usually I give up TV or chocolate. One year, when I lived in Chicago and attended a Presbyterian church, the pastor urged us not just to give something up for Lent, but also to take on a character quality of Jesus. You know, trying to be more generous or patient.
But though these all are Lenten activities, I’ve really never taken on the posture of Lent. I haven’t entered the wilderness, like Jesus, to let my faith be tested and to set myself apart. And even as I’m writing about it, I know why I continue to be new to Lent. Wildernesses scare me. This year, though, I am ready to learn more about what it means to seek after Jesus as he was preparing to die. I’m ready to be a Lenten Christian.
Just like Advent, Lent will be a season of expectation. For those who journeyed with me back in December, we spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to wait on, for and with Jesus. The waiting sometimes felt hard, but more often than not, Advent waiting was exhilarating.
But Lent waiting will be different. Though ultimately we will celebrate the power and glory of resurrection on Easter, to get there, we have to go through the agony, misery, and loneliness of Gethsamene and the suffering and death of Golgotha. And even before that, we have to go to the wilderness.
Will you go with me?
I will be posting daily Lenten meditations over on my website. Just click on the Lent link to the left when you get there. I also will occasionally post some of the meditations here, on my blog.