Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Lent 2021 Week 1 - Why Should We Care about Lent?

Ash Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Why Should We Care about Lent?

I have to be real: it's been a year of dealing with this coronavirus pandemic and I am tired! I am sure you are as well. Feeling restricted is one aspect of it, and with last year's election season and many trumpeting our personal liberties in this country (e.g. mask wearing) and all the sense of division, it has been wearying to our souls.

So why should we care about Lent? If this is about doing a ritual for the sake of ritual, I'm out. If this is about going through the motions while not feeling like my heart's fully engaged, maybe it's better not to even try. I mean, dead religion isn't going to help us now, right?

That's exactly what Jesus thought, too! He came into the temple and found deadness! "He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers'” (Matthew 21:13 ESV). Jesus wasn't into dead rituals with no sense of the presence of God, with no sense of the Spirit of God helping people experience the love, holiness, and transforming power of God. Jesus came to bring life again. So, the very next verse: "And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them" (21:14). He brought new life to those who were seeking God in our need, in humility and honesty.

So, no, Lent is not about a ritual of paying homage to God and going about our days. Lent is about connecting with Jesus, who is here with us in His Spirit's presence. We are walking with Him on this journey of asking Him to help us...
  - to humble ourselves again,
  - to see our need, to see our sin and to repent of it,
  - to grasp the beauty and realness of His provision of grace through Christ's cross, and
  - to daily abide in His great love for us.
Whether you decide to give up something for Lent or not, make sure you take time daily to talk with God and listen to Him. As we anticipate Christ's cross and our Easter celebration, let us spend each day meditating and reflecting upon His presence and mercy. Spend time reading, praising, praying, and sharing with others.

I'm praying with and for you!
- PD

PS - I'll be blogging each Wednesday, but don't forget these daily Lent guides!
- Gospel in Life Lent Devotional
- SheReadsTruth.com 2020 Lent Guide 
- Redeemer Church NYC 2011 Lenten Devotionals
- Jesus Storybook Bible accompanying Lent Guide

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