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Lent 2023: Seek, Gaze, Dwell

2023-2-21 | Kate Cogswell

Lent begins tomorrow, February 22, 2023. “What is Lent?” you might ask.

Logistically, Lent is the season in the church year that begins on Ash Wednesday and takes us up to Jesus’ crucifixion on Good Friday, and of course, to his resurrection on Easter Sunday.

The Lenten season is the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, minus Sundays, mirroring the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness at the beginning of his ministry where he fasted, prayed, and triumphed over the temptations of Satan.

During the season of Lent, we are invited to remember and focus on Christ’s life, ministry, sacrifice, and resurrection. Lent is a season where we intentionally prepare our hearts and minds and our lives to observe and celebrate the events of Holy Week. Our preparation during Lent is traditionally a time for introspection, prayer, and repentance.

Lent is a time to look at our humanity with Jesus, to see our humanness through the lens of our Triune God, to know both its reality and His redemption.

It is a time to acknowledge our sinfulness and our need for a Savior.

It is a time to invite God to search us and know us; a time to seek Him and know Him.

It is a time to fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of faith. To set our gaze on Jesus, both human and divine.

Lent is an invitation, like David in Psalm 27:4, to seek wholeheartedly the “one thing”.

During Lent, we are invited to seek God in his temple, to gaze on his beauty, and to dwell in the house of the Lord for all the days of our lives.

To intentionally engage in the season of Lent, consider participating in either (or both!) of these opportunities - preparing together to celebrate the miracle of Jesus’ Resurrection when Easter arrives:

  • Worship with us on Ash Wednesday, February 22 at 6:00pm, in the ECC Sanctuary or online. Our worship service includes a few interactive portions that the entire family can participate in, including the imposition of ashes at the end of the service.
  • If you would like to receive some guidance or encouragement during your observing of Lent, we invite you to sign up for brief Lenten text prompts. We’ll offer a prayer, a passage to reflect on, or some other suggestion to help you more intentionally observe the season of Lent. An initial text will go out on Ash Wednesday, and then, beginning the following Monday, you’ll receive a text each weekday through Easter. Simply text “@lent2023” to the number 81010 to enroll. (You can also email ecc@ecclife.net to request these prompts via email.)

Lent is an important season of the church year. It speaks to profound truths that have shaped history and have the power to shape our future and who we are becoming in Christ Jesus. We pray you will make time to participate in whatever way best meets your needs and those of your loved ones.

When Easter arrives, may we all be more in love with Jesus because we are seeking Him, gazing on his beauty, and dwelling with Him together.