[The Easter truths] are simply too profound to take in over a mere Friday through Sunday, so we use the season of Lent to prepare. Lent allows us to enter into the Pascha more deeply.
When I first read that passage in Living the Christian Year, I thought to myself, yep, that’s exactly right. Lent isn’t about giving up chocolate for asceticism’s sake and it isn’t about adhering to meaningless tradition. It’s about remembering why we need Easter, and that somber remembrance takes time.
Many churches in our culture don’t observe Lent at all, but they’re missing out! I’ve been a member of liturgical and non-liturgical churches, and I can emphatically say that celebrating the Resurrection is more powerful and meaningful for me when it has been preceded by 40 days of prayer, self-examination, repentance, fasting, and Scripture study.
Lent is halfway over, but it’s not too late to join in! (For those of us who have been marking Lent since Ash Wednesday, it’s also a good time for renewing our focus. I tend to get sidetracked at about this point every year.) Even if your church doesn’t formally observe the season there are lots of things you can do at home to set aside the next few weeks as special. Create a new playlist, grab some books to help your kids enter into the season, make family prayer and confession a priority. Spend time thinking and journaling about why you and me and everyone needs Jesus, about why he did what he did, about what Good Friday and the Resurrection really means. Come Easter morning you’ll be glad that you did.