The Season of Lent

Today is the Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Season of Lent. Its name comes from the ancient practice of placing ashes on worshippers’ heads or foreheads as a sign of humility before God, a symbol of mourning and sorrow at the death that sin brings to the world.

Ashes become symbolic of that attitude of penitence reflected in the Lord’s Prayer: “forgive our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us”

Originating in the fourth century of the church, the season of Lent spans 40 weekdays beginning on Ash Wednesday and climaxing during Holy Week with Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and concluding Saturday before Easter. Originally, Lent was the time of concentrated study and prayer before baptism. But since new members were to be received into a living community of Faith, the entire community was called into preparation. Also, this was the time when those who had been separated from the Church would prepare to rejoin the community.

Today, Lent is marked by a time of prayer and preparation to celebrate Easter. Since Sundays celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, the six Sundays are not counted as part of the 40 days Lent. The number 40 is connected with many biblical events, but especially with the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness preparing for His ministry by facing the temptations from Satan. Lent has traditionally been marked by penitential prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Most Christian churches that observe Lent at all focus on it as a time of prayer, especially penance, repenting for failures and sin as a way to focus on the need for God’s grace. It is really a preparation to celebrate God’s marvelous redemption at Easter, and the resurrected life that we live and hope for as Christians.

Lenten is a period of time for Christians to walk with Jesus through the darkness of Good Friday. Lent is a way to place ourselves before God humbled, bringing in our hands no price whereby we can ourselves purchase our salvation, It is a way to confess our total inadequacy before God, to strip ourselves bare of all pretenses to righteousness, to come before God in dust and ashes. Through prayer that gives up self, we seek to open ourselves up before God, and to hear anew the call: “Come unto me!”

“On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
the emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best,
for a world of lost sinners was slain.
So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
and exchange it some day for a crown.”
- George Bennard, The Old Rugged Cross



There was a time when I lost my desire to write and to share. There was a time when I didn't see the point of doing a blog to express my thought. I am who I am though, inconsistent as I am in doing this blog, but I do want to share and I do long to write. Today I'm giving it another go. Fingers crossed. But I still wish that "Let there be light" is the message that I convey.
  • January 1st 2012, Kristo