Ashes, fish on Fridays, and giving up chocolate.
If that’s your impression of Lent, let me introduce you to something more. Something deeper. Something that points to the cross and your own aching need for the blood of the Savior.
My study, Experiencing Lent, goes live today, and I’m so, so excited about the journey that it represents. In my own family, and in the lives of countless Christians excited by the burst of sunlight that is Resurrection Sunday but wondering if there was more they could have done to prepare their hearts for the celebration, there is a hunger. And that hunger, which represents our desire to meet with Christ on a more personal level, is never more real than during Lent.
So many of us grew up with colored eggs and bunnies and lacy white gloves that the image of a broken, bloodied man hanging limp on a cross has no connect. Maybe we came to understand His sacrifice as adults, but still… it’s an uncomfortable place, a place we’d rather gloss over as we rush to celebrate the stone rolled away from the tomb.
And that stone was rolled away. Christ is risen. But the cross? It happened, too.
Experiencing Lent is full of history, prophecy, symbolism, and celebration. It asks hard questions, digs in to difficult Scripture, and shines a light on the interactions between the Jews and Romans. Within its pages, your family will wonder at the role of the Zealots, be shocked as Jesus breaks tradition at the Last Supper, and learn why, thousands of years later, fish is still on the menu for many Christ-followers in the weeks leading to Easter.
Lent officially begins March 1 for many denominations, but this book is ready to be opened at any point when your heart is softened for the journey. Seven weeks of readings and lessons are planned for you. Pick up and go at any time.
I hope the days leading up to the joyful celebration of Easter are full of reflection, repentance, and gratitude for you and your family. I look forward to knowing that my voice has joined with yours and millions of others on that Sunday morning to proclaim, “He is risen, indeed!”