Forty Days

We embark on a forty-day journey each year from Ash Wednesday to Easter morning.  Lent is the forty days, which begins on Ash Wednesday, but if we count carefully the days on the calendar until Easter, we exceed forty days.  This is because Lent is a season for fasting, so Sundays are not included in the forty days of Lent.

We refer to the First Sunday in Lent instead of the First Sunday of Lent because Sundays are feast days and Lent is for fasting.  Sundays are for celebrating the grace of God and the love of Christ.  Each Sunday is like a little Easter, so Sundays do not “count” in the forty days of Lent.

Since the season of Lent is for fasting, focusing our attention on God, people have traditionally given something up for Lent.  It can be many things.  People give up chocolate or caffeine, social media or gossip, judging others or resentment.  It is a way to practice something for a short term, which shapes us in the long term!

The wisdom behind the fasting is about reclaiming what matters the most.  As one writer says, we should only love what can love us back.  Lent calls us to turn away from what cannot love us back and refocus our attention on God, who always loves us in return!

It is a misconception that Lent is simply a holding pattern before the joy of Easter.  It is also a life-giving time, albeit difficult at times; but it draws us closer to God. We learn again to love God, who always loves us in return.  It is aligning our treasure with our heart, as we give thanks for simplicity, contentment, and fulfillment in the grace of God.

– Tripp

Auburn First Baptist Church