A year ago, I was all geared up for Lent. I’m not entirely sure why, but for whatever reason, I was “feeling” it. The idea of celebrating Lent was sort of novel, and I was gung-ho to help people plumb the depths of falling into the rhythms of the Christian calendar.
Today was a much different story. I was sitting in a meeting and one of my beloved co-workers kindly reminded all of us that Lent was a few short weeks away. The indifference in the room was palpable. The enthusiasm of last year was a distant memory. No one said it, but it was like we were all thinking, “Yeah, we did that last year. What’s new?”
And the response of the Christian calendar is in many respects, “nothing.” We live in a culture that is obsessed with novelty and newness. I am already salivating over an iPhone that I haven’t even seen yet that is rumored to be released sometime this summer. And so something about entering into a Lenten observance this year feels like last year’s iPhone… obsolete.
But I’m coming to realize that this is precisely the beauty of Lent. It enters into one’s life this year (and every year) as an intrusion. My mind is on other things and Lent inconveniently shows up to remind me that I am in need again this year of creating space in my life to reflect on Jesus’ abundant life, sacrificial death, and life-giving resurrection.
So for these reasons – and more – I’ll be entering into the Lenten season in much the same way as I did last year. In fact, I’m going to read the very same resource that I did a year ago. It was good. It was thought-provoking. And I’ve forgotten almost all of it. Which is I guess is the point of Lent. That things forgotten are brought to the forefront again.
Here’s what I’ll be reading, as well as some other options.
So, three weeks from tomorrow, Lent will begin. And I will begin again to come to terms with all the truths that are so easily forgotten. How about you?