While the season of Lent is not specifically in the Bible, there are plenty of reasons for Christians to embrace this practice that has been handed to us as a gift from the historic Church. First, the Old Testament set out a number of annual feasts and festivals to remember and celebrate what God had and was still doing. While we don’t practice those biblical acts, they were given to Israel by the LORD and speak to the importance of observing special times in our walk with God each year. Why is Lent 40 days? This aspect is also very biblical. Moses spent 40 days on the mountain with God (Exodus 34), Elijah journeyed 40 days to the mountain of God (1 Kings 19), Israel was 40 years in the desert waiting to enter the land, and Jesus is in the wilderness 40 days following his baptism (Luke 4). Among the things that these occurrences had in common was that God was preparing folks for what was coming next.
Our theme this Lent is RELENT. And as we journey with Jesus to his cross through Luke’s gospel these next 40 days we will be asking God what he could help us remove from our lives that holds us back from more fully following Jesus. God’s intent in chiseling away the hard parts of our hearts is never to leave us more broken or incomplete, but to remove what hinders in order to more fully reveal the beauty that is within the heart that trusts Jesus. Are you ready to RELENT? Are you ready to let go and trust God with the most important areas of your life? Let us open our hearts to the grace of God to make this forty day journey, together with Jesus. It will lead us to his cross, but it won’t leave us there.