Teach us to number our days and we’ll become aware of our mortality and our finiteness and we’ll thank God that we have been loved with the love that is stronger than death.Pslam 90
A Time of Solemn Contemplation
Growing up in a Christian household, we always held Christ in high regard–living our lives according to the gospel. We went to church every Sunday and my parents did everything they could to raise their two daughters in the ways of the Lord.
When I accepted Jesus in my heart, I quickly began to understand the importance of repentance–going to Christ in humility asking him for forgiveness of my sins. I remember crying hysterically once I fully comprehended the love of Christ and the sacrifices he made for me. Even at such a young age, the idea of sacrifice was a concept I understood and I truly wanted to do everything in my power to live a life Christ would be proud of.
As I got older, and started to understand more about the complexities of religion–I began asking questions that challenged my faith, deepening my understanding of Christ so I had less room for doubt. Knowledge is power and I wanted to learn as much as possible so I could unapologetically believe and lead others to believe as well.
In my early stages of seeking this knowledge, I remember seeing my Catholic friends at school with ash on their foreheads and asked with curiosity what it meant and symbolized. The idea of confessing your sins and expressing and professing devotion to God was something we did at church during communion, yes, but to have a specific tradition–which led to Easter (one of the most significant holidays in Christian religion–besides Christmas) I found fascinating. I never really understood why Evangelicals did not really celebrate Lent.
What is Ash Wednesday and Lent?
Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lenten, a period leading up to Easter, a day where Christians recognize and celebrate the resurrection. Ash Wednesday–being 6 1/2 weeks before Easter, starts the 40 day fast (Sundays are excluded) in imitation of Jesus fasting in the wilderness before he stated His public ministry.
During this period, Christians show repentance and mourning for their sins, because they truly believe in what Christ has done for them. The true idea is to turn away from sin and believe in the gospel.
Even though it is not customary for an evangelical to participate in Lent, I want to formally participate this year. I may not go to Catholic Mass to get the traditional ash on my forehead, but I will pray and make a commitment to God to give something to Him for 40 days. I feel compelled to show a little sacrifice and to show intentionality in preparing my heart for Easter–a day that means so much to me and my family. Christ suffered and sacrificed so much for me, and Lent is a beautiful tradition that I believe allows people to show their love and devotion to the God who saves, forgives, and shows grace to His children everyday.