Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I am so thankful to my sweet friend Jana, who reminded me that lent was quickly approaching. It begins today, with Ash Wednesday.

She posed a very good question of why we take a whole month to celebrate the Christmas season and Christ's birth, but, we (in many Christian denominations,) only observe Holy Week, and Resurrection or Easter Sunday. I think if we are really honest we avoid Lent and Holy Week because it is not a happy and uplifting time, not the way Christmas is anyway. It is easier to be joyful and celebratory about receiving God's gift of Jesus and the promise He represents. But when it comes to His sacrifice and death, it just doesn't seem appropriate in some ways. At least not until we actually get to Resurrection Sunday. It takes on a much more serious tone, as it should. I think that is what Lent is for, a time of deep reflection and repentance because of the sacrifice Jesus made for us to redeem us.

Lent lasts 40 days to remind us of the 40 days Christ spent in the desert before beginning His ministry. During that time He fasted and prayed and underwent temptation.

I am not Catholic and I have never observed Lent before, but, I do want to prepare my heart for this special season. Christianity is meaningless without the crucifixion and resurrection. It is the climax of the love story between the Lord and all of humanity. He made a way to bring each and every one of us back to Himself. He bought us back at a very costly price, freeing us from the captivity and bondage we build through our sin and "self". And for me, my personal relationship with the Lord is about everyday making a conscious effort to put off a little more of "self" and put on more of Him. I've said before that this year the Lord's word for me is obedience. And I want to be sure that I am faithful in that especially at this time of preparation for the Easter season.It doesn't matter if it is a matter of prayer and fasting or showing forgiveness and kindness to others. I've found that obedience to Him doesn't always come in the form that initially comes to mind when we think of being obedient to Him. Sometimes it simply involves listening to His leading.

As far as my children are concerned, they have a simple understanding of death, but, I'm not sure if they will be able to comprehend the crucifixion or the sacrifice behind it at this young age. So, I am praying about how to present it to them for the first time. For Lent, I will be focusing on Jesus' life and ministry. I can focus on aspects of his personality or how He helped and ministered to people.

What ideas do you have that you might incorporate into this Lent season as you prepare your family and your life for Holy Week?


Janna Widdifield said...

So glad that my post was thought-provoking. Welcome to the season of Lent.

Christy said...

You know...I am ashamed to admit this but I have never paid any attention to Lent. To me it was always something that Catholics do and does not apply to me. It wasn't until last year that I really started thinking about the deeper meaning behind it. This year, as I find myself seeking the Lord's guidance more than ever, it is even more in the for front of my mind. I need to think about it and pray about it some more.

As far as talking about Jesus' death. The children and I were actually talking about it tonight. Laura Grace seems to grasp it more and more each year. Layton still does not fully understand what death is, so it is harder for him. However, I just talk about it often and openly. I don't go into graphic detail but I do talk about Jesus hanging on the cross and being in pain because he loved us THAT MUCH. We then talk about how wonderful the resurrection is and how thankful we are for God's mercy. Grace and mercy are also concepts I explain often... Anyway, the more I talk about it, the more they seem to understand.

Sandra said...

I recall a story about a lamb that teaches young children about the death of Christ. You may be able to find it on The Temple Institute Site. It is a Jewish site but remember, they celebrated Passover for hundreds of years before Christ came which was a rehearsal for His coming and I think that is where I read the story. You can teach your children the full story incorporating how Jesus was that lamb.

Ashley said...

I just wrote about Lent on my blog and our thoughts behind it. I think our families are similar in the sense that we don't necessarily observe Lent, but it's important to really discuss what this season is about!