The wilderness metaphor associated with Lent refers to the 40 days of testing that Jesus endured as he began his ministry. That period for Jesus was foreshadowed by the 40 years of wilderness wandering of the Israelites between the slavery of Egypt and the wide open spaces of the Promised Land. For us, it means the 40 days, plus six Sundays, leading up to Easter.
The other seasons of the church calendar focus on the glory and majesty of Jesus. The birth of the King, the worship of Messiah, the resurrection of a Savior, the ascension of the Lord of lords, and the falling flames of the Spirit all invoke awe and wonder.
But during the 40 days leading up to the death of Jesus, those 40 days when we walk with Him through the desert wilderness and find ourselves hungry like him, we remember his humanity, and the great humbling that happened when he took on flesh.
Just like Advent, Lent is a season of expectation. For those who journeyed with us in December, we spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to wait on, for and with Jesus. The waiting sometimes felt hard, but more often than not, Advent waiting was exhilarating.
But Lent waiting is different. Though ultimately we will celebrate the power and glory of resurrection on Easter, to get there, we have to go through the agony, misery, and loneliness of Gethsamene and the suffering and death of Golgotha. And even before that, we have to go to the wilderness.
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You can also read transcripts of my Lenten essays which were read each Sunday of Lent 2011 at College Park Church.
- Lent - An Introduction | February 27, 2011
- Prayer - Talk Less Listen More | March 13, 2011
- Lament - Grieving with Hope | March 20, 2011
- Confess - Freedom from Sin's Grip | March 27, 2011
- Fasting - The Dangers of Denial and Induglence | April 3, 2011
- Silence - Quiet Enough to Hear | April 10, 2011
- Giving - No Abundance, No Lack | April 17, 2011
- What's So Good about Friday | April 22, 2011