Lent is the Christian season of preparation before Easter. It is a time when many Christians observe a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose of all this “giving up” and “taking on” is to set aside time for deliberate and intentional reflection on Jesus Christ – his life, ministry, teachings, suffering, death and resurrection.
Lent is 40 days long (Sundays are not included in the count), to match the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness and the 40 years the Israelites wandered the desert after the exodus from Egypt.
This year our Lenten theme is “Jesus Is…” Each day through worship, special events, mission projects and an online devotional, we will contemplate different aspects of the divine and human man who leads our spiritual lives.
The 40-day season is a time for introspection, of repentance – or a turning back to God. We often think of Jesus being alone in the wilderness, but he wasn’t. The wild beasts were there. The character we call “Satan” was there, testing him. And God’s angels were present and ministering to him.
We, too, are not alone as we spend 40 days in the wilderness of Lent. Of course there are “wild beasts” and “satans” that test us and endanger us. But there are also angels. We are never alone in the wilderness because we have our community of faith ministering to us and caring for us. We serve as angels to one another as we contemplate our sins (those times when we separate ourselves from God through our actions, thoughts, words or participation in oppressive systems). We serve as angels to one another as we repent and turn back to God. Praise God for our faith community, a community of angels.
In Christ’s love, Pastor Gage