The period of Lent started on Wednesday, 10 February and will end on
Good Friday, 25 March. Should we bother with it?
We don’t have a liturgical church background and tradition, and thus, have no in-depth understanding nor practice of Lent. Historically, Lent is the season preceding Easter in the church calendar, and it is often observed as a time of reflection and repentance. It is a season of preparation, a time of waiting and remembering.
Is it important? Is it worth observing—or at least acknowledging? Ann Swindell, a Christian writer, in an article published in Relevant Magazine, seems to think so.
Here are four suggestions why Lent may be worth observing, according to this writer.
Lent is a reminder of our need to repent. Repentance is a call to turn around and away from our sinful ways. It means acknowledging we are sinners, and then saying no to our sin. It is at the very heart of Christianity: we cannot, in fact, follow Jesus without repenting of our way.
Secondly, we should learn to reduce our excesses during the period of Lent. It is a time to strip away the unnecessary and unneeded things and remind ourselves of our neediness before and for God.
Thirdly, Lent should serve to remind us of our humanity. Lent points us to the truth that all of our value and all of our purpose comes from being a person made in the image of the God. Apart from Him, we are dust.
Finally, Lent should sober us to prepare us for the celebration of life-altering Easter. If we are not aware of our sinfulness and need, we won’t be able to comprehend the desperation of Good Friday or the world-changing truth of the Resurrection. Sobering our hearts and minds in preparation for Easter enables us to celebrate more deeply and joyfully, perhaps, than we would have without the solemnness of the season. Because knowing our true nature, knowing our need for Jesus — makes Easter the best and most necessary Good News we could ever hear.
Rev. Robert Chew