Preparing for Lent
Preparing for Jesus
Father David Jones
The bible tells us that after Jesus was baptized the Spirit led Him into the desert for forty days. During those days he prayed, abstained from temptation and fasted. This was a time of preparation for what was to come, the Resurrection. During our season of Lent we do what we are called to all year long, FOLLOW THE LORD.
The Spirit leads us during the season of Lent. The church takes forty days to intensely get ready for Easter. Like the Lord, we hunker down in prayer, we eat less and we avoid temptation by giving up something and using our resources and monies to improve our sense of being disciplined disciples.
In other words, instead of doing whatever we want to do, an abuse of freedom, and we practice doing what the Lord does and do what the Lord wants done. We make sure that we can sing the lyric “before I be a slave, I’ll be buried in my grave and go home to my God and be free.”
LENT IS ABOUT PREPARING TO BE FREED TO SERVE THE LORD.
EASTER FREES US FROM SIN, BUT ONE HAS TO BE READIED!
What’s with the ashes? Lent begins with ASH WEDNESDAY. It falls on a Wednesday to get the forty days in before Easter, not counting Sundays, because it doesn’t make sense to have a funeral on the day of the Resurrection. Duh!
The day is marked as a special beginning with a sign of the cross made from ashes on the forehead. Ashes come from palm branches that take us back to PALM SUNDAY before we begin LENT.
PALM SUNDAY is the day Jesus rode into town to face, fight and conquer sin and death. “Before I be a slave…”
So we start LENT by remembering the goal - GET TO THE HOLY! GET TO THE LAST SUPPER! GET TO CALVARY! GET OFF THE CROSS! GET TO FREEDOM! GET BACK TO GOD!
The ashes reveal to the public all the people who get it. “I am a sinner and so therefore I need Jesus.” A gold cross on a chain around a neck can mean many things, but ashes, dirt that you see every time you look in the mirror and every time you see the same sign of dirt mirrored on your sister and brother, I get it. God’s got this and God’s got me! All I have to do is follow the Lord.