By Dave Goffeney
The holy seasons come and go each year and without intentionality we can struggle to remember, until we find ourselves in the middle of one. Perhaps we struggle to remember because we get so caught up in the here and now that we lose sight of the greater, biblical story. Ironically, the very seasons of the church calendar we are so quick to overlook, are designed for the clear purpose of helping God’s people remember where we’re from and where we’re going. There is a very real tension at work in the life of every Christian, where the reality of struggle and sin collides with the accomplished and promised hope that Christ accomplished for His people. The various seasons of the church calendar were given to help us faithfully live in light of the gospel story every day and throughout all of life, while living on mission in a world that has been so great infected by sin. The season of Lent helps God’s people (individual and communal, local and global) to live faithfully in the tension of where we are and where we are going.
Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the season of Lent. This season helps us to be shaped by the glorious & victorious death and resurrection of Jesus, recognizing God’s full provision through the cross and the empty tomb. We can pointedly experience together the desperate need we have for God’s provision, and His proven faithfulness to provide through Christ what we so desperately need. We are left longing for the day that is still to come when we will be raised again with Christ and glorified with Him for all eternity (Colossians 3:3).
We are inviting you to participate in the shaping season of Lent: observing some form of intentional fasting and prayer for forty days as we build up to a great celebration on Easter Sunday.
The following resources are helpful tools to read and study through, on your own or with your family/community, to help foster anticipation and gratitude for Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and promised return:
“Why Bother with Lent?” – Elliot Grudem
Lent 2021 Legacy Book – He Reads Truth
Lent 2021 Legacy Book – She Reads Truth
Risen MotherHood – Lent/Easter resource page
The Jesus Storybook Bible: Lent Guide