Embracing Lent, Because Heaven is for Real
The Lenten season is nearly upon us. Embracing it is a decision of an individual believer. Having my formative roots as a Southern Baptist, this is not a season that I grew up recognizing. Later, being immersed in the Assemblies of God, this was not at the forefront either. Yet, in my middle adult years, I am drawn to a more “catholic” church of all believers and what different traditions of the faith bring to believers as a whole. I am drawn to the purpose and intentional focus of the 40 days preceding Easter, or the resurrection Sunday. I am drawn to the symbolism after recognizing the sweetness and experience behind the purpose in my own faith journey.
The History of Lent
Recognizing this is not a season celebrated in Scripture, it is to have originated in the apostolic time when celebrating the resurrection was the focus. It was not until years later that Christmas was celebrated by believers as the focus was on the resurrection and not the birth of Christ in the early years of the formation of the church.
In was in the late Middle Ages that the English word for lent was adopted and meant spring. Its Latin meaning, quadragesima, translated from the Greek Τεσσαρακοστή, Tessarakostē, means fortieth day before Easter. Traditionally, it is in commemoration of the forty days Jesus spent fasting in the desert before his public ministry.
Our Family’s Response this Season
This season of fasting, repentance, moderation, and spiritual discipline to reflect on Jesus and his suffering and sacrifice including his life, burial, and resurrection are formative. In the past, we have eliminated refined sugar as a family. This year, we are reading the gospel of John together and then watching the Gospel of John on DVD which includes the gospel word for word in drama and in subtitles. We are also excited as a family to watch the movie, Heaven is for Real, based on the true story in the book coming to the theater. This picture of Jesus also has incredible ties to the book and the young girl who is the artist. We have not yet decided what we will give up this season as of yet.
Does Lent resonate with you? In what way?
What thoughts or images come to mind?
Warmest Regards in this Lenten Season,