By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going.
“So, pastor, what exactly is a Lenten journey? I mean, what am I supposed to do? Should I be doing more than I have always done? What does this all mean?” This was such a profound question, and I wish I had given a more profound answer. I hope that the person who asked the question will recognize the conversation, and will hear a better answer than was given at the end of our discussion. Every Lenten journey (for me) has been different throughout my entire life. Like Abraham, sometimes we step out on a journey not knowing where we are headed. But perhaps I can shed a little light upon the path.
Lent is the time in the Christian liturgical year that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later the evening before Easter. The purpose of Lent is to help the believer prepare for Easter through prayer, repentance, and almsgiving. Many Christians for example, read devotionals or go on spiritual walks as they pray, These and other Lenten disciplines help to keep them focused on their path towards Easter. Some Christians will save money each day, to give to the church, in addition to their regular offering. This special “almsgiving” helps the church to carry out the work of feeding the poor, caring for the homeless, and comforting those who are ill and grieving.
Lent is a time when you can look within, and try to be really honest by asking whether or not you are loving God with your whole heart, soul and mind; and are you showing love to your neighbor as yourself? Jesus stresses that all of the other commandments can be whittled down to just those two commands. When we focus on God and the needs of others, our own self-centeredness can slowly begin to melt away.
So, dear friends, a Lenten journey can be thought of as the path that each person takes from Ash Wednesday all the way to Easter, focusing on drawing nearer to God. It is the time we can reflect upon God’s forgiveness of sin through the love and sacrifice of Jesus – for you, and for me.
May your find special meaning on your road towards the cross and the empty tomb.
In Christ’s name,