Lent is our Christian journey toward Easter. We begin the journey on Ash Wednesday with the sign of ashes, an ancient sign. It is a solemn journey that last 40 days (Sundays are not considered part of the 40 days). The last week of Lent we follow the path that Christ took beginning with Palm Sunday and Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, the last supper on Maundy Thursday, the desolation of the crucifixion on Good Friday and then the joy of Easter, God’s triumph of the Resurrection.
During Lent we are asked to journey into spiritual renewal. We are asked to leave behind the things that drive a wedge between us and God between us and others. We are asked to leave behind a life denying way of being in the world that has grown comfortable familiar. A way of begin that allows us to close our eyes to injustice and to wear the mantle of power and wealth free of the discomfort of guilt and remorse. Ours is a wilderness of self-examination, guided by prayer, sustained through scripture, our progress marked by acts of caring and kindness.
For some it is the custom to ‘give something up for Lent,’ a discipline of self-denial. This can be one way of journeying in Lent. I would suggest that one could also journey by taking on a discipline, perhaps focusing on doing an act of kindness each day, or setting aside time to be with God in prayer, or coming to Church every Sunday in Lent.
The journey of Lent is a journey into the wilderness. A wilderness of the unfamiliar and the unknown. A place where we can discover who we truly are. A place where we can allow ourselves to be the person that God created us to be. A place of renewal. In Lent we are invited to join Jesus in the wilderness for a time of discernment. During these 40 days look for the God that calls you, search out the things that drive you from God and others, challenge your temptations. Look also for the hand of God who journeys with you, giving you strength, comfort, peace.
May your Lenten journey of discernment contain challenges, newly discovered truths and life altering surprises that will help you to grow in faith.