On Ash Wednesday, a look at what Lent is really about.
When I was a little kid, I remember asking my parents what “Lent” meant. I had seen the word placed on a sign outside of a local Catholic church just above the words “Fish Fry.” The reply I received was that it was “a Catholic thing.” I didn’t know much about Catholics back then, so I mostly shrugged it off.
As I grew older, I saw more people talking about Lent. Even those who weren’t Catholic. Our own evangelical church even began to talk about fasting during Lent.
What draws Christians from different backgrounds into Lent? As Lent starts today, it’s time to evaluate the deeper meaning of Lent. I personally think we embrace Lent because we intuitively realize these rhythms of spiritual life are part of giving our lives in worship—they have been in the Church for ages.
Many of us think of Lent as a period where we give something up for God in order to honor His sacrifice on the Cross for us, which we commemorate on Easter. While this is partially true, it’s not exactly how the early Church saw Lent. It’s more about anticipating the full impact of Easter for the time we’re in now and when Christ returns.