As I posted Skyler Sandry’s excellent article on Wednesday, I was a bit remiss in that my timing could have been better. Our new blog series, focusing on the penitent season of Lent, probably should have started on Ash Wednesday, the day that marks – literally, with ashes – the beginning of this season. February and Lent overlapped this year, they often do, and Skyler emerged as I learned about the unstoppable high school basketball team at Morning Star when I read about them in the local paper! When I asked Skyler “Will you write?” he said “Yes” and when I added, “How about next week?” he said “Sure.” Perhaps this kind of spirit is the perfect cusp of passions (love) and the passion (Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.)
As Christians all over the world, we now step into Lent and journey with Jesus through his ministry and eventually to his death. We do this in preparation for the day that makes us who we are – for we are indeed “Easter People.”
Lent is a season of penitence and renewal; forty days, not including Sundays. If you are wondering about this funky math, Sundays aren’t included because they are meant to be “little Easters” and reprieves from whatever fasts we choose. These “fasts” are meant not to restrict us, but bring more freedom – creating more space for us to draw near to God.
On a personal note, I tend to get obsessive during Lent, which probably means I’m missing the point. I’ve gone vegan before, given up my car; I often keep Lenten journals. This year, I’m leading a writing group at St. Paul Lutheran Church where I serve as Children’s Pastor. But some years, I try to give myself a break – giving up something small, or indulging in the restful practice of keeping Sabbath.
Whatever we choose to surround ourselves with for these forty (plus six) days, we are all marching toward the same destination – Jesus’ salvific work on the cross, his suffering and death on our behalf.
In many ways, Jesus teaches us how to die. So that’s our theme for Lent. Not because we’re morbid, but instead, realistic: the journey to know Christ is costly; it cannot manifest without death – the death of self, the relinquishing of our sin, the “death” of “Not my will, but thine, O Lord.”
So, friends. When you read this handful of blogs from board members, faculty, alumni, and parents, be reminded of Christ’s journey to the cross, what it teaches us about sacrifice, and how it requires our own death, too.
And may we all have a holy Lent.