Lent

My roots are Southern Baptist.  On my father’s side was {and is} a long line of faithful attenders of Southern Baptist churches.  From Arkansas to Washington state, there was hoopin’ & hollerin’ and fire & brimstone.  Remember Footloose?  Kevin Bacon?  Yes, that’s Southern Baptist.

All this to explain that as a Southern Baptist, I was unaware of Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent.  Other than my one practicing Catholic friend who could only eat clam chowder on Friday {or that was my 10 year old understanding of it}, I didn’t give Lent a second thought.  “It was a ‘strange’ practice done by non-Southern Baptist,” I assumed.

Enter my adult life in the upper mid-west.  This here is the land of the Lutherans & Catholics.  And Ash Wednesday & Lent are a big deal.  So after all these years of curiously wondering about this whole thing, I’ve decided it’s time to give it a look.

In the most simple terms, Lent is a time of preparing for Easter.  As Advent is to Christmas, Lent is to Easter. Lent, the approximately 40 days leading up to Easter, are a time of preparation of the heart of the believer.  Through prayer, repentance, almsgiving, atonement & self-denial, one focuses their heart towards heaven and towards Jesus Christ.  A good ole’ fashion personal revival is how I’d describe it.  Taking a good, honest look at my heart & how I’m living in light of the sacrifice of Christ and spending time realigning it to what I believe.  A revival!

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Although I am not familiar at all with the traditions and rituals of this season & would not dare to try to duplicate them, I am encouraged to spend the next 40-ish days in a time of revival.  To take some extra time each day to pray, to focus on the cross & what it really means and to show love to those around me.  A time of reflection.  A time of revival.

Here’s the deal.  Our lives are busy.  Some are really busy.  Day in and day out we rush and we hurry and we squeeze as much into our minutes as we can.  Some good stuff gets squished in & some not-so-good stuff gets squished it.  For me, a whole lot of the squished in stuff is for my benefit, for my comfort, for my enjoyment.  But what if, for just 40-ish days, I slowed down?  I pushed aside something that is all about me and instead I made room.  A little bit of space.  I pushed out something all about me for something all about Him.  I think that might be a great start.

I have a friend from across the globe encouraging other believers to spend some time memorizing Scripture for Lent.  I think this sounds like a great idea!  So, I’m joining her challenge.  Over the next 40-ish days I will be attempting to memorize a huge hunk of Scripture.  This will not be easy.  This will take some time.  And to accomplish it something will need to get pushed out of my schedule-something perhaps that in all about me.  See how this is working already?

Here is my friend’s post: “As Lent is a time of reflecting on our relationship with God and examining ourselves in light of our sinfulness for the purpose of repenting and drawing nearer to God, I have chosen to celebrate this time and prepare for the resurrection of Christ by memorizing Colossians 2:6-15 and 3:1-25.”  Each day she will post a section of that Scripture.  And I will post along with her right here.  We can memorize together!  Today’s the first day and the first Scripture is:

Colossians 2:6 – “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,”

Hopefully I haven’t completely botched the meaning of Lent.  Hopefully I have not disrespected it in any way.  I hope that through the next 40-ish days, I can realign my heart with Him & be prepared to celebrate the excitement of Easter in just a few weeks with a renewed heart & soul.

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One thought on “Lent

  1. Yesterday I had a client mention Lent. She is not religious in any way and she didn’t really know what it was however she did seem to know a bit more then me. I felt pretty convicted since I really had no idea. Kim I like your description of the families faith. Footloose!
    Anyways. I like your post and I’m gonna watch the memory verses and see what I can do with that.
    ❤️ Jenni

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