Lent – It’s all about Jesus

This year I had great plans for Lent. It began on my birthday and as it approached I thought, what a great day to set some goals to prepare myself for Easter. Common wisdom suggests that it takes 21 days to break a bad habit and about twice that to set a good one. The 40 days of Lent (I know it is actually 46, but apparently the Sundays are not counted) seems like the perfect time period to do some recalibrating after an unsettled start to 2022.

40 is such a biblical number. Jesus’ time in the wilderness (Luke 4), the Israelites time in the wilderness (Numbers 14), Moses’ time in the wilderness, the 40 days of the flood (Genesis 7). So on March 1 I was ready to go.

It’s now the end of March and I can report that not much has changed. What happened? Life happened. Work happened. Family happened. None of it was bad, much of it was really good. But in reality, I got caught out by good intentions and some unrealistic goal setting. I fell into the age old trap of thinking that if I tried harder I would do better.

If we could make ourselves better with just a bit more self-discipline we wouldn’t need Easter at all.

Lent is meant to be a time of preparation. A time of waiting on God as we look ahead and move towards Easter. It is not meant to be a time of giving up things or trying harder. If we could make ourselves better with just a bit more self-discipline we wouldn’t need Easter at all. We wouldn’t need foot washing, the gardens and unfair trials, the beatings and nakedness and a cross. But we do need those things. We do need a saviour. We need Jesus.

Lent is about Jesus. Re-fixing our eyes on him. As I reflect on the last 28 days I realise that I have been doing that. I have been opening my bible, and worshipping with friends, and listening to sermons, and waiting on the Holy Spirit. Which means my recalibration has been taking place. Not by my effort, but by the incredible grace of God operating on my heart by the power of the Holy Spirit. As Paul says it so beautifully in his second letter to the Corinthians:

 12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit

2 Corinthians 3:12-18

My goals weren’t bad. It is good to want to work on creating habits that bring life and do others good. I just must not make them the main event. Lent prepares us for the main event, the literal crux of our faith. The love filled sacrificial death of Jesus and the tomb emptying, death destroying resurrection. 

In these last days of Lent fix your eyes on Jesus, and then let us gather at the foot of the cross on Good Friday and at the mouth of the empty tomb on Easter Sunday.

Why not join us as we celebrate Easter this year…

  • Good Friday Service – April 15, 10:30am @ Everyday Church Wimbledon