There is comfort in recurring holidays that root our souls to a soothing rhythm with a repetitive beat.
But there is also a quickened sense of anxiety that we haven’t prepared, haven’t anticipated as we feel we should.
So the arrival of Lent this week, finds us thinking of many other things besides this annual season of preparation. An inaugural of self-denial and repentance feels a little bewildering.
What is the purpose of Lent?
What should I give up for Lent? And why?
My confusion over the arrival of Lent is not because I’m unprepared but rather uninterested. After all God Himself told us bluntly that none seeks for God (Romans 3:11).
John Piper inspires and reminds me of this truth with these words: “If we don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because we have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Our soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.”*
Overindulgence in lesser things keeps us from hungering after God.
Even though our human nature is never naturally inclined to seek God, we still have a choice. By the amazing grace of God He has given us a free will that can with this annual reminder choose to invite Him into our life and world.
Lent is an ideal time to push away from the table of the world to embrace the “pleasant pain”* of self-denial, of fasting. Serious takes on Lent fascinate and motivate me: fasting from complaining, perhaps, or author Lauren Winner’s fast from anxiety might produce more heart room for God than simply giving up chocolate.
Attending our church’s Lent services is now a not to be missed hour on Ash Wednesday. And the focus on repentance and our utter need of God is the perfect way to introduce the Messiah to your family.
Take your children on a walk through the Old Testament learning the prophecies of Jesus and finding the hidden clues about Jesus sprinkled all over this ancient book. Using our Easter Advent Banner and Calendar is an easy daily way to give your family a taste of God’s amazing book.
If you have not seen or heard of it click here. It’s not too late to order it and create a bonding experience with your family.
As I tell every mom, even doing some is better than none.
We moms too often don’t start because we loathe failure and not finishing feels like failure so we decide not to even begin. I know because that was true of me.
Like a twelve-month-old who ventures a few faltering steps then falls, be brave enough to start even if you don’t get more than two sessions finished. God will be pleased and will cheer for you just like we do for our toddler’s first steps.
Join us on this Lenten journey to discover more of who Jesus came to be. I promise it will be both beautiful and memorable. Your kids, or grandkids, will learn more than you expect even if they complain. And I bet you will too!
And your hearts will be more receptive to the joy of Easter six weeks from now!
*A Hunger for God, Crossway Books, 1997