Tomorrow the observance of Lent begins. Christians all over the world will do things… or stop doing things… in order to improve their spiritual lives. Lent is the 40 Days (minus Sundays) leading up to Easter. It’s a season of repentance, renewal and spiritual discipline.
Let me say it right away: If it is worth doing tomorrow, it’s worth doing today.
For our church family it is all about fixing our eyes on Jesus in ways that are intentional. There is nothing special nor magical about ‘Ash Wednesday.’ If it is worth doing tomorrow, it is worth doing today!
In fact, today might be the most important day of Lent for you and me this year. What will we do today?
The dark side to Lent is found in its power to promote Religion in the hearts of people. 40 Days of religious activity in order to gain God’s favor? This is the dark side and it is seen around the world, especially on this day. It’s called Mardi Gras or ‘Fat Tuesday’… the day before Lent begins. People who are anticipating 7 weeks of religious duty and self-denial will sin excessively and intentionally on this day. Is it because we have nothing else to repent of that we plan on sinning? Do we need more sorrow to make Lent more meaningful?
If it is worth doing tomorrow, it’s worth doing today
This is the dark side to Lent. It promotes religious activity that is spiritually harmful. The intentional sin is certainly harmful, but so is the season that follows where self-abasement and denial is done to reclaim God’s favor. This religious activity is void of spiritual power.
The season leading up to Resurrection Sunday can be significant and spiritually beneficial, but we must understand the Gospel as we seize the opportunity. The truth of the Gospel is that, for all who are entrusting their lives to Jesus, we are already favored by God through the gift of salvation that is found in Christ. The blood of Jesus cleanses those who believe from every sin and there is nothing separating us from this relationship with God. No religious duty or self-sacrifice can earn God’s grace or acceptance.
So why intentionally enter a season of repentance and spiritual growth? Because we can! We value the Kingdom of Heaven and worship the One who has adopted us into His family so much that we want to know Him better. This is not religious duty… this is a relationship with our Father Who is in Heaven. We fix our eyes on Jesus.
If it is worth doing tomorrow, it’s worth doing today. Happy Lent!