Within our church tribe, we don’t make a very big deal of Lent (or really any other church holiday outside of Christmas and Easter). What the more liturgically minded churches have traditionally called for during the Lenten season (prayer, repentance, denial of self, etc.) are values that we feel should be evident throughout the year. So we basically ignore Lent and call it a man made tradition that we aren’t obliged to follow. We only follow the man made traditions that we really like! Mostly the ones that we’ve come up with in the last couple hundred years or the ones with really big meals. (Don’t get mad here, friends… I love our tribe and totally agree with not being tied down to traditions.)
But I wonder if we’re missing an opportunity in our dismissal of lent. At it’s heart, the lenten season should afford us a great extended moment to focus on how the resurrection of Jesus is being reflected in our lives. What would our Easter celebrations be like if they were preceded by 40 days of spiritual preparation? Make no mistake, this isn’t about giving up your twitter feed or getting a salad instead of a burger at lunch. It’s not about a bit of ash on your forehead or kicking that sugar dependency you don’t really have (wink, wink). It’s about de-cluttering our lives in preparation for the invasion of real Life.
Lent starts tomorrow, and I want to invite you to join me (and a bunch of people more awesome than me) in a 40 Day exercise that will cover the weeks leading up to Easter. We’ll be reading through the New Testament over the next 40 days and asking God to teach and shape us with His Truth. I hate bandwagons, but this is one worth being on. Jump on.
Also sometime, check out this related post I wrote a couple years ago: Dismissing Lent?