Why Lent Matters

Chris Tomlin’s song Here I Am To Worship is, for me, a perfect Lenten song. Imagine a completely darkened room, no light from any sources (have you ever been in a cave and they turn off the lights, you place your hand directly in front of your face and you cannot see your hand…or anything). That is a life without Christ.  In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:4 & 5). Now imagine a light, slow and steady growing and filling the room, illuminating every corner, every crevice, until the darkness is overcome. That is Christ, into the world, into our hearts, our lives, every hidden place in us.  Lent for me is creating intentional time to allow the Light of Christ to illuminate my life. It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him. (Daniel 2:22)

Here I Am To Worship, Chris Tomlin

Lent starts on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Thursday (the Thursday before Easter Sunday). This time, for me, has become a season of reflection and pressing in. Most of the time when someone hears about Lent they think it is about giving something up (chocolate, social media, coffee, etc..). I believe that it is a time to gain. Gain perspective, allow Christ to show me the hidden places in my heart, Psalm 139:23 says Search me God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. ~Gain a greater understanding of who Christ is and His plan for my life… For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 ~Gain greater peace and wisdom for the days ahead… If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5

Spending intentional time for the forty days leading up to Easter has opened my heart more, to the wonder and excitement that is Easter. The sacrifice that Christ completed on the cross, that sacrifice is for me and you.  On Ash Wednesday receiving a sign of the cross on your forehead is an acknowledgement and outward sign that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. The priest says “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19) or “Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” (Mark 1:15).

Time spent in worship, study and prayer, seeking God and asking Him to reveal more of who he is to you. Asking Him to show you the hidden places of your heart and change you to become more like Him. Forty days of seeking, repentance, praying, worship and allowing God to illuminate your life; preparing you to be the light of the world. This is why Lent matters.

There is no magic formula, no perfect Lenten study, say these prayers, abstain from these things, do this, not that. I can’t tell you what time of day to seek God (all day, while you go about your life, is best) or what translation to read, or what church to attend. What I can tell you is this, you seeking God and Him being found by you and in you, that is what Lent   (and our whole Christian journey is about…even after Easter celebrations are over).  Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease. 

Take that picture of you standing in the darkness, with no light and one candle is lit and then another and another and another and another and another….until the whole space is filled with light, dispelling the darkness that is all around. Each of those candles is a person, a full of the Light of Christ person. If we, with the Light of Christ burning inside of us; go out and shine our light for Christ….think about what the world around us can be transformed into. Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 said: You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

 

Do you participate in Lent? How do you celebrate Easter?

 

Linking up the Tuesday Talk hosts:

Beth at Our Pretty Little Girls, Crystal at Hall Around Texas, Jessica at Sweet Little Ones, Stefanie at Lexie Loo, Lily, Liam, & Dylan Too , Stephanie at Wife Mommy Me , Becky at BYBMG, Lindsay at Lindsay’s Sweet World, Sarah at Sarah E. Frazer , Justine at Full Hands, Full Heart, Christina at Waltzing In Beauty, Meghan at The Adventure Starts Here, Tina at Go Big or Go Home and Whitney at Polka-Dotty Place