Go! for Lent John 14:3
This is Jesus' promise to those eleven disciples sitting at the supper table with Him two thousand years ago. Jesus is telling them that they can count on Him, coming back and taking them into Himself so that they would be wherever he will be. Their lives, works and ministries from them on were years of preparation, with expectancy of that great promise.
I would like to apply this sense of “go and prepare and come again” with regards to our understanding of Lent. For a long time, at least in my experience as a Christian and Church member, Lent has long with associated with repentance, with giving up something, prohibitions from eating meat on Fridays and other forms of self-denial, where one is supposed to forget oneself and just concentrate on God. Sometimes the idea of Lent is dark and depressing. With this popular understanding and practice of Lent, it is no wonder that a lot of Christians do not really like Lent.
However as I I’ve learned what Lent really means to me over the years, I have come to appreciate Lent in a new way. I have come to look at Lent like Advent, preparing me to the joy of Easter and the resurrection and the expectancy of Christ’s second coming.
Lent has been traditionally a time of prayer and fasting, turning back to God and restoring our relationship with Him. It is a special time to reflect and meditate, setting aside the hustle and bustle of busy life. While it is true we should do this periodically, we should not make it a boring ritual or meaningless rote memorization.
Let us make Lent what it really is: a time to prepare to celebrate Christ’s rising from the dead, appearing to His disciples in a resurrected body, and giving us comforting words that He would return “on the last day.” The way Advent refocus me for Christmas and Second Coming, Lent focuses me for Easter, thus I can share not the doom and gloom of Good Friday but the anticipation of the joyous Easter Sunday!
Lent is a time to center on God, to reinvigorate one’s prayer life. It is a perfect time to try new forms of prayer discipline, spending quiet time with God and set aside the space in your life so that the Spirit of Christ will commune fully with your spirit.
To sum up my thought: Lent is a time to try something, turn back to God, reflect on Christ within us, begin anew and wait in anticipation to the joy of Easter and His promise of the Second Coming. Christ did not leave His disciples comfortless. He promised to “go and prepare a place and to come again.”