Lent is a six-week season of intentional self-denial and focus in preparation for Easter. This year, Lent begins February 14, 2024. Many followers of Jesus Christ struggle with understanding the meaning and purpose of Lent. Does it even matter?
Here is what just might transform the time from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday for you:
What if you thought about Lent as a time of purifying and taking an inventory of your loyalty and priorities? What are you most faithful to? What do you actually give your time and your money to, day after day, week after week, year after year?
Jesus offers us a bit of shock therapy: “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mt 16:26)
It is so easy to go through the motions in life and to fail to live out in our day-to-day decisions the things we say are most important.
What if this is the key to a life well lived: Making decisions about how to spend your time and money that are in alignment with what you hold most precious and dear.
It is tragic to find that you have spent your life, and it was not how you intended to spend it, or that what you bought wasn’t worth the price you paid.
The reality is that it is hard to live according to what we profess to be most true, most important, of utmost value. Very few people do this.
This year, choose to see Lent as a gift. It is the precious opportunity to reset our lives and work to have everything rotate around Jesus Christ, who told us that “whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” (Mt 16:25)
If you surrender during the season of Lent, at times it may feel like a death to you. Indeed, Ash Wednesday is intended to confront you with your own mortality. But, those who die in Christ (through death to self now and in actual death later) will be raised with Christ – in this life and in the life to come!
Kevin M. Watson is Director of Academic Growth & Formation at Asbury Theological Seminary. He writes at kevinmwatson.com.