One of the most pleasant surprises of my three years in seminary in Washington, D.C., was learning about the Christian calendar. I knew something about it, but not much. I knew, for example, that Advent came before Christmas.
Talking about Lent with young children can often be difficult. For adults, Lent is a deliberate time of prayer and preparation for the Week we know is coming. Even as an adult, I still get very excited about Holy Week and Easter morning. The joy of the Easter morning victory becomes very solemn when couched in the incredible pain and suffering of the violent and cruel treatment of Jesus in the arrest, trial, and crucifixion that we often talk about during Holy Week.
Lent is the 40-day period between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday where we journey with Jesus to the cross and rejoice in His resurrection. At this time, we intentionally remind ourselves of our need for Jesus so that when we celebrate on Easter, we really understand it. Some people do this by fasting or giving up something in their lives, while others take on new habits to bring them closer to Him.