'Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a 40 day period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ- his suffering and sacrifice, his life, death, burial, and resurrection.' (definition complements of that deep theological treatise, Wikipedia)
now. i grew up baptist and the only lent/lint i'd ever heard was the kind found in a bellybutton. (i'm southern. can you tell??)
oh and i prepared for Easter, alright. i always had a new hat or dress. new clothes. springy. easter eggs. colored chicks. dressed my kids in smocked awesomeness.
cause Jesus is alive. right??
this is the 3rd year that i've seriously observed lent. i mean, i talked about lent and what i might 'give up' but i never honestly tried on the practice of lent until our church had an Ash Wednesday service. this was the first time i'd had ashes imposed on my forehead. that i admitted along with 100 or so folks at our church and millions around the world and throughout history that i am frail. and weak. that i am dust. (psalm 103:6-14)
wow, way to be a downer, tracy. i mean, come on. it's Easter morning. Resurrection Sunday.
interestingly in ways i never expected, i have found more joy in that one Sunday morning by sitting in the intentional reflection that Lent brings. i have found that the liturgy and spiritual practices around this time, starting with the imposing of ashes, the prayers of confession, the sacrifice of fasting and attention to moderation, the deliberate examining to my own shortcomings, along with remembering the tremendous sacrifice of Jesus makes these 40 days deep. and rich. and hopefully life changing.