Preparing to Prepare

We at Church of the Resurrection are people who are seeking to draw near to Jesus.  One of the ways we do this is by uniting our story with his story through the observation of the church calendar.  We are currently in the season after Epiphany, and during this season we look at some of the manifestations of Christ’s divinity.  We behold his glory in his work here on earth in his changing of water into wine, and in his fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. 

Ash Wednesday is in just one month, which means Lent is fast-approaching.  Even in this season in which we see the glory of God in the person of Jesus Christ the specter of his coming death looms large.  This should be no surprise to anyone who has read the Old Testament prophecies of the suffering servant or to anyone who has read the words of Christ in the gospels.  Christ’s glory is in suffering and death.

We have the benefit of reading the whole Bible unlike the disciples who were shocked and offended at the idea that Jesus would lay his life down.  I heard something last week that I hadn’t thought of.  I have always used Ash Wednesday as an opportunity to kick off Lent, so to speak.  But I heard it suggested that Ash Wednesday is way too late.

So here I am, one month away from Lent, broaching the topic of Lent.  And I’m only going to do that.  I’m going to raise the topic of Lent.  Yes, Lent is a season of fasting and preparation, and I am calling us to a season of preparation for the season of preparation.  Weird?  Maybe.

But I’ll ask you this.  What is your plan to draw near to Jesus this Lent?  What is keeping you from drawing near to Jesus?  Is there something you need to lay at the feet of Jesus?  Is there a secret sin in your life that you need to lay at his feet?  What is something you can give up that will draw you to him?  If you give up chocolate will you really run to him when you get the urge for it?  Is there a devotional habit you can pick up during this season?

Let’s use the next month to pray to the Lord about what he is calling us to this Lent.  How can we prepare for this season?  How can we use it to draw near to the Lord?