Friends in Christ,
The season of Lent has begun. This 40 day period (excluding Sundays) will eventually
lead us to an open tomb and the wonderful Good News of Easter. However, before that
day arrives we must journey down a path that will remind us of Jesus’ last days, and the
last hours of his earthly life.
For Christians, this is a time of, “renewal” as we reflect on all God has done for us
through Christ Jesus. This renewal time will lead us through deeper disciplines of
prayer, fasting, almsgiving, service, and Biblical study. Many of us will choose to “give
up” something as a way to seek a closer connection with God, who gave up His only
Son for us. We “give up” something important to us to develop self-discipline (if we are
faithful in little things, then we are more apt to be faithful in bigger things). And as we do
this, we are reminded of just how human we are, and how our needs and wants can
drive us! So Lent is a time of introspection, a time of renewal, a time of not just “giving
up” but also, “giving in” to where God would lead us.
For non-Christians, Lent must seem strange. Their first experience will probably come
at a restaurant. Chili’s, Applebee’s, even Culvers will have their “Lenten Special” on the
menu (or on that little stand up card on the table). No doubt, some will wonder, “Fish on
Friday, what’s up with that?” It may even seem stranger if it’s Wednesday and their
waiter has a black smudge of a cross on their forehead.
Of course the rituals of Lent are not meant for us to parade our piety. Just the opposite,
they are to be a private, intimate time of renewal with our heavenly Father. At the same
time, some of the disciplines we choose to follow may affect our regular routine. In
doing so a friend or a family member may ask, “Why or what are you doing?” And of
course we should share our heart as the Lord leads us.
This Lenten season I do hope you take time for renewal in your walk with Christ. May
God bless you and your family as you make your journey toward the cross and as you
come to share in the joy of Resurrection Sunday.
Pastor Andy