“Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful” (Joel 2:12-13).
Besides Advent, the season of Lent is my favorite part of the year. Lent is a season of the Christian year when we are invited to simplify our lives in order to focus on our relationship with Christ. During Lent, we study both the life and death of Jesus as we prepare for Easter Sunday.
Lent is a solemn season and therefore does not get much attention from most Christians. We love to celebrate the birth of Christ and his resurrection; however, we do not like to think about his suffering and death. Lent calls us to evaluate our own lives and examine the ways we need to change so we can better follow Christ. Lent reminds us that before there can be Easter (resurrection), we must first deny ourselves and pick up our cross (no wonder most people don’t like Lent).
Yet, Jesus promises us that we will gain true life when we lay down our old one. Resurrection can only happen after there is death. How can we have new life if we do not die to our old one? May this lenten season be a time where we return to the Lord with all our heart. May it be a time when we lay down the things holding us back, and press on toward the goal of holiness.