Lent is technically the 40 days leading up to Easter ( excluding Sundays ). It is a reminder of Jesus 40 days of temptation in the wilderness and has historically been observed as a time of repentance and fasting. It is a period of time for review and examination of our lives and our mortality – it can be sad and depressing but it is also is a sobering reminder that our chance of death is actually 100%.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT)
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
The Lenten season is intentionally set aside for examination, instruction, repentance and prayer. This season is one of preparation for all the people of God. The Lenten time of reflection brings our individual lives along-side God’s word so we can find areas of our relationship with God that we can improve. Review and sacrifice in Lent leads us to focus on how to reflect and honor God by living out His purpose each day.
The value of this review time is it asks us to dig deeper than the surface. It will not find us on the mountain top celebrating or in the deepest valleys because what we hope to find in Lent are areas hidden from even ourselves and we pray that Lent will make it visible to us.
Lent is the time for a restoration project that will reveal the beauty of God’s design for us, showing once again the scale, proportion, and priorities intended for us by our Maker. Further, Lent is a season of hope and with ashes on our foreheads and hope in our hearts, we go forth to love and serve. For by God’s grace in Christ, we do not have to stay the way we are.