The Christian community across the globe are observing Lent for 40 days, starting from Ash Wednesday to the eve of Easter Sunday. This is to commemorate the time Jesus spent in the wilderness where he fasted forty days and forty nights and was tempted by the devil! (Matthew 4:1-3) This act is very “religiously” advocated by many churches and a lot of church goers follow it to perfection, which is good and would make sense if we follow Jesus the Messiah to perfection.
Don’t we think the Lent season for a Christian should start the day he/she accepts Jesus as their personal saviour and are “born again”. From then on, there is no end to the Lent season until we leave this planet. Is God bothered about our forgoing meat or fish for 40 days and on Easter Sunday go all out on food and drinks, as if there is no tomorrow? During the Lent season of our lives, we should have all the fruits of the Holy Spirit- Love, Peace, Joy Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Patience and Self-control embedded in us. Many people observe Lent simply because it is a tradition followed by fore-fathers or thinking they would have a better life or God would be pleased by their act etc. It is the love of Jesus that has to be demonstrated to others, so that they should ask, why are you different?,
The Lent we observe has to be based on the “born again” experience we have through Jesus. In John chapter 3:3 – during the conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
There are other places in the Bible which supports the “born again” experience talked about by Jesus-
In Ezekiel 36:26
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
So in the Lent season which is from the time we accept Jesus as the Lord and King of our lives till the end of our physical lives on earth, we should live accordingly to receive the above promise.
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,
This is the Lent we need to observe, ie. to stay away from sinning.
But When Jesus saw this, He was indignant and told them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them! For the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
During the Lent season (throughout our lives) we need to be as innocent as little children!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come!
Yes the Lent should encompass the new experience with Jesus. A metamorphosis from our lives prior to knowing Jesus.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, with whom there is no change or shifting shadow.
During the Lent (throughout our lives) we should be ready to accept every good and perfect gift as mentioned above.
1 Peter 1:23
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
In the Lent (throughout our lives), we have to glorify the Lord who gave us the gift of being born again through the imperishable seed which is the living word of God ie. Jesus Christ.
1 John 2:29
If you know that He is righteous, you also know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.
During the Lent (throughout our lives) let us practice righteousness .
1 John 3:9
Anyone born of God refuses to practice sin, because God’s seed abides in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.
In the Lent season (throughout our lives) let us refuse to practice sin.
1 John 5:1
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of Him.
In the Lent season (throughout our lives) let us keep reaffirming that Jesus is the Christ.
1 John 5:4
because everyone born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith.
In the Lent season (throughout our lives) let us have the faith to overcome the world.