The Season of Lent | A Retrospective

The season of Lent is the 40 days that we have journeyed between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Lent is a time of preparation, of waiting, and often, of sacrifice, which many of us have acknowledged by “giving up” something for this period of time.
As you reflect on this year’s season of Lent, what have you learned and experienced during this time? What would be the defining thought or symbol or word for the last 40 days for you? What are you looking forward to on the other side of this?

It comes as no surprise that the number 40 is significant throughout Scripture. The earth was flooded for 40 days as Noah awaited the fulfillment of God’s promise. The Israelites wandered the wilderness for 40 years before reaching the promised land. Moses, Elijah and Jesus each fasted for 40 days in the desert, and Jesus endured temptation from the devil as he did so. And finally, Jesus spent 40 days on earth after his resurrection before ascending to heaven, leaving instruction for his followers, and gifting them with the Holy Spirit.

In each of these Biblical stories there is a season of Lent, a period of waiting and anticipation, that may feel endless but in God’s time, ends in fulfillment. Jesus casts off the devil’s schemes and angels come to minister to him in the desert. Moses returns from his 40 days in the wilderness clutching the 10 commandments. Noah guides the arc to dry land under the glow of the world’s first rainbow. The Israelites claim their homeland, victorious in the name of the Lord. The Holy Spirit descends like a flame on Jesus’ followers as they gather to pray.

The world endured the greatest season of waiting and anticipation until the arrival of the One who would change it all, the fulfillment of God’s plan and the embodiment of His love for us.

As we approach that darkest hour, as we stand at the foot of the cross on Good Friday and feel the deep sorrow and hopelessness of that day, let’s remember the unfathomable sacrifice that was made for us. But let’s also lift our eyes to the coming dawn, the fulfillment of our waiting, and the end of the season of Lent.

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