Lent and Life
The season of Lent is really a microcosm, a miniature picture, of the Christian life as a whole. The discipline of denying ourselves, taking up our individual crosses each day, and following in the steps of Jesus should characterize our lives as Christians all year round. This shouldn’t, however, be registered as an argument against the value of Lent. We could make the very argument about the Lord’s Day. The worship, refreshment of body and soul, and works of mercy that characterize this Day are by no means to be confined to one day in seven. Rather by directing our full attention to these practices for one day in seven we are training ourselves to live, work, worship, and rest like this throughout the week. The season of Lent relates to the rest of the year in the same way. By directing our attention to the sufferings and death of Christ and our calling to follow Him in the way of the cross we are cultivating a cruciform, literally cross-formed, life that will be manifest throughout the year. So as you focus on the sufferings and death of Christ; and as you give yourselves to the practices of almsgiving, prayer, and fasting throughout the season of Lent; don’t even begin to entertain the notion that this focus and these practices are somehow unique to these forty days. Rather, allow this focus and these practices to give shape to your lives as individuals and as families. In this way the Church of Jesus will again be known as a house of prayer and alms for the nations of the earth. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen!