The season of Lent began just ten days ago, but already I have struggled to keep pace this season. I have been “off the grid” in several ways over the last ten days and it seems Lent has fallen victim along with several other disciplines.
Obviously, this isn’t one of those posts that will demonstrate how I’ve got it all together. Because I don’t.
The problem for me with Lent this year hasn’t been a matter of the difficulty of giving up as much as it has been the intentional aspect of meditating on the life, humility, and sacrifice of Jesus. No, the giving up has been fairly easy—perhaps I aimed too low and gave up something that had little effect in my life to begin with. Perhaps I gave off the top instead of giving sacrificially. I’m still sorting this aspect through.
What I do know is that my giving up has been little more than a dietary decision at this point. And that isn’t the purpose of observing Lent. Jesus didn’t leave his father’s throne because he just needed a little space. He gave up his rightful place at the Father’s side in order to make it possible for us to gather there as well. While that space was his right, it is ours’ only by grace.
Lent then, is a season that ought to be entered intentionally to consider that exchange and the grace that has been poured out on us. It isn’t that we don’t contemplate these things through the rest of the year, but now we do it collectively, recognizing that his sacrifice was not solely for me as an individual, but for the sins of the whole world.
So as one representative of those sins, I reenter this season confessing I have made too much of myself and too little of Jesus. And this has not only been during Lent.
Can we journey together?