Welcome to the wilderness.
Lent is a season of forty days that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends the day before Easter on Holy Saturday. Though Lent is not mentioned by name in the Bible, it is deeply rooted in both the Old and New Testaments. After God rescues them from Egypt, the Hebrew people spend forty years in the wilderness learning how to be God’s people so that they can enter the Promised Land. After his baptism, Jesus is driven by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. It is in the wilderness that Jesus fasts and prays while learning to depend on God alone.
For the early church, Lent was a time when new believers would prepare for their baptism with prayer and fasting, and it continues to be a time of repentance and self-denial for modern Christians around the world. It is customary for Christians to fast or give up certain luxuries as a means to increase our dependence upon God. Many Christians also choose to practice a spiritual discipline such as fixed-hour prayer, participating in a class or study, or seeking opportunities to practice serving others. What will you lay aside or take up this Lenten season? How are you preparing to walk in the newness of life on Easter?