By Matt Brown
If you’re like me, then Lenten observance begins to feel onerous by the fourth week. When Lent begins, I am glad for the interruption of my regular routines, the opportunity to assess my spiritual growth over the last year and the call to follow Jesus with greater faithfulness. Towards the end of Lent, I get discouraged because I miss my routines, have assessed my growth and found it to be negligible and haven’t spent as much time listening to Jesus as I intended. Lent feels like yet another failure.
Then again, maybe that’s where Lent is supposed to lead us. If you’ve been reading through the Gospel of John with us, then you know Jesus talks a lot about hunger and thirst. He tells the woman at the well that he possesses the water of eternal life. After feeding the multitudes, Jesus says that he is the bread of life. Jesus connects our perpetual physical desires to the insatiable longing we have for abundant, meaningful and satisfying life—the life we find only in Jesus.
So maybe Lent is supposed to feel like failure. Our hunger and thirst, our insatiable desires, our weakness and our wickedness remind us that flourishing cannot be found within us. Like the woman at the well and the hungry multitudes, our longing for abundant life can only be satisfied by the resurrected Jesus. If your Lenten experience is feeling burdensome, be encouraged because our Lenten fast is leading to the great Easter feast this weekend.
We hope you can join us at any of our Easter services.