Recently I was asked if I “celebrate” Lent… It is an interesting question considering all the denominational differences regarding Lent. I have been a part of churches that practice the 40 days of Lent with many rituals and ones that didn’t acknowledge it on the church calendar at all. I am not going to get into the historicity of Lent, you can research it on a multiple of bible sites or Google it. What I will share is my personal choice and journey through the Lenten season.
Legalism is a huge turn-off for me, please understand that Lent for me is about preparing my heart for the Passion of Christ and drawing me into a closer relationship with my Savior, it’s not about rituals. The single most important event in history, changing the world from BC to AD and completing the path for all who believe in HIM and follow JESUS to have salvation and live in eternity with Him… Christ’s death on the cross and Resurrection, it’s a BIG deal! To celebrate Easter in a casual manner without preparation and focus on His sacrifice for me seems irreverent for the believer saved from the pit. “I will never know how much it cost to see my sins upon that cross”… Without Christ “finishing” and completing salvation for us, we would still be attempting to atone for our sins by following a laundry list of rules and offering blood sacrifices that could never make us clean in the eyes of God.
Many Christians give up something that they enjoy, creating a time of “sacrifice” to the Lord, it often makes time in our schedule where we can spend more time in the Word. I have also taken up a new habit or area of service to others, which brings my heart to a place of greater humility. Fasting and increased prayer time are ways that help me realign my thinking to the Lord’s leading. Taking time to read scripture in the morning and evening start and end my day with Him, always the best place to be! On Good Friday I fast, read the account of the Passion in the four gospels, putting my name in the place of those who crucified Him and watch Mel Gipson’s movie: The Passion of Christ. Talk about a heart transformation. Every year, after taking the season of Lent as a time to focus, align and recommit my life to serving Christ, I fall deeper in Love with Him! My gratitude is beyond measure and I am able to WORSHIP Him with greater celebration on Resurrection Sunday!
Whatever you choose to do during the season of Lent, be sure to pray about it and let God lead and transform your heart…
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,
in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the Spirit”