The season of Lent is often looked at in about three ways by many Christians. This time before we celebrate or risen Lord on Easter is either forgotten, looked at as only a church tradition (followed by some only because of this, and ignored by others for the same reason), or seen as a time to once again focus our hearts on Christ, where they rightfully belong. Whatever your take usually is, there are probably many factors playing into that.
Lent is most often not even thought about because our culture doesn’t pay attention to those traditions like we used to. If many people rarely even hear about it in church, it just won’t be as easy to remember. Other times, it isn’t given thought because it is seen as only an old church tradition, or it is only followed because it is a tradition. And there are biblical grounds for not simply focusing on traditions in Mark 7:8-9, where we are told not to let go of the commands of God to hold on to the traditions of men. However, we also sometimes forget that celebration of holidays such as Christmas are also filled to the brim with traditions of men.
Whatever traditions you partake in this season, it should simply push you towards the cross. For nothing else really matters in light of that! If we choose to sacrifice something, we should know that another round of New Year’s resolution type goals isn’t what the season is about. This may sound surprising, but I truly believe that Christ desires a simple surrendered life more than you missing out on eating chocolate or something like that.
A verse I recently found while doing some devotion I think emphasizes Christs burning desire for us this season, and really all year long. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 tells us, “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” This captures it! During Lent and Easter, we remember Christ’s sacrifice and that he is risen. If we are confident in this, God calls us to lay down our own agenda, and take up his!