I greet you all in the name of Jesus Christ and pray you His peace.

Pastor Denton Lester As we are about to begin the season of Lent, I thought perhaps that we could look at what Lent means and why we do this thing called Lent. Some people have a genuine interest in learning about this season and have asked if there is any scriptural basis for the season of Lent. It is like a journey, and some journeys we take again and again.

Thinking about this we can say that the season is a time to journey with Christ, to follow closely His journey of the last days of His earthly ministry. Perhaps in those passages, we can see the basis for this season through the scriptures.

Lent is understood to be a truly bitter season that joyfully ends with the Easter celebration of resurrection. We journey through the bitterness of the season of winter again and again, short days and long nights, cold and dreary. Some have the good fortune to go where it is warmer for the winter season, but most of us are here to see the bleakness of winter, especially contrasting it to the beauty of and the joy of new life when spring arrives.

“For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mark 8:37

The season of Lent is seen in different ways by different people, but it truly takes us on a journey of preparation for new life. Spiritually we journey through the bitterness of looking at the sin in our lives and looking at what Christ endured for us because of our sin. As Christians we are invited to spend forty days in spiritual preparation for Easter. We are invited to examine our worship and prayer lives. We are invited to look seriously at what self-denial and sacrifice means to us. It is a time to be in the scriptures, to study and examine the journey to Jerusalem, to look at what Christ endured, the treatment, the agony and the abuse because of our sin.

We are invited to reflect on what being a Christian means. Is it a title or is it something we wear on a tee shirt? Is it a generic term for church-goers or is it a life we are called to live?

The forty days of Lent are like the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness in spiritual preparation, tempted by Satan yet staying the course and choosing God’s will...the way of the cross. This season as we look to the cross, may our spiritual eyes see the reason for the cross. May we know that it was because of love that the cross was necessary. It was because of the love of God, and it was because of the holiness of God. Payment for sin was required and Jesus was willing to pay for our sin through that love.

Lent is a journey that we need to take again and again. We need to continually look at where we are and where we want to be. “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). We have to remember that the broad road is so easy to get our attention and take us away from the true purpose of our journey. We need to be constantly focused on the narrow gate.

Faith and our walk with Christ is something serious and holy. Something we need to constantly examine in His light and the light of His teachings. Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” (Mark 8:34). As we look at the cross this Lenten season, let us be serious about our walk with Christ. There is a cross for each follower.

May God richly bless you.

Pastor Denton
            Pastor Denton

March 2019