Preparing for Lent

24 02 2009

Hey guys,


The year is moving right along.  I can’t believe February is almost over!  Crazy!


Anyway, Lent begins this week with Ash Wednesday.  I don’t know if you do anything to observe Lent or not.  I read this little description in my devotional today that helped explain this time of year and helped me get ready…


The Season of Lent is like a roller coaster ride with emotions that are down and up again and again as the story of our salvation makes plain our sinful ways and the cost of our redemption.  We begin with Ash Wednesday where we roughly bump against our own mortality.  Here we know that sin and death are real, and they are real not just for someone else.  Sin and death are real for us.  This is where we begin the Lenten Season, with our face pressed hard against the reality of our sin and our death.  If we did not know how the story ends, this would be a dark and depression journey.  But we do know how the story ends and therefore in the midst of austerity and fasting we remember our faithful Savior and the Easter declaration that life is always victorious over death, always!


In the forty days of Lent we experience the temptations of Jesus and remember our own.  We recognize in the rapidly rising hope of a triumphal entry some of our own expectations and hopes for a world of peace and love.  But then comes Holy Week, and we see so many of those hopes dashed to their death.  A somber time to be sure, but even in Lent we remember that each Sunday of the year is a little Easter.  Therefore we take courage, our hearts grow strong, and once again we determine to throw our lives into the struggle on the side of peace, justice, and love…


A season that begins with ashes pressed upon our heads ends with the fragrance, sight, and touch of flowers racing through our senses and inviting us to join the triumphant song “Christ the Lord is Risen Today!”  Now we know as never before that our mortality will put on immortality.  Death and resurrection are now claimed as our own.  Fear has given way to inexpressible joy, and doubt has given way to triumphant hope.  Christ is risen!

            (from A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God by Norman Shawchuck & Rueben P. Job)


Death swallowed by triumphant Life!
   Who got the last word, oh, Death?
   Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?
It was sin that made death so frightening and law-code guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power. But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, guilt, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God!                            

    1 Cor. 15:55-57 (MSG)


Praying for you as you enter into this season of preparation and expectation.  May you find ways to experience the death and resurrection of your Savior.


To the King!





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