Despite its rich history in the church, many of us don't observe Lent. Maybe it's time to reconsider. As Skye points out in his sermon, this special 40-day period before Easter is a unique time for us to take inventory of our lives, commune more intimately with God, and clear out those things that may distract us from our commitment to him. It's our prayer that this sermon might inspire you toward taking a special journey of transformation with your congregation—a journey that finds its climax (and turning point) at Easter.
For a lot of people, Lent is a season for making resolutions. They give up chocolate or sweets. They're going to pray more, or actually go to church every Sunday. Beyond that, many of us have little understanding of what Lent is about. I want to help us understand and engage this season more appropriately.
My father has a love of gardening. For him the winter is a miserable time. He grew up in India—a tropical climate and a gardener's paradise—and even though he has spent more of his life in the Midwest than India, he's never really come to terms with Chicago winters.
As a kid I remember waking up each winter morning to find him in the sun room of our house in his bathrobe watering his potted plants—a cup of tea in one hand and his water pot in the other—mournfully looking out at his frozen flowerbeds. He was in that sunroom all winter either cursing the snow or dreaming about the spring.
When the ground finally thawed in the spring, he was giddy. My brother and I were less than thrilled, however, because we knew the spring thaw meant yard work—and a lot of it. Between the frozen winter and the fruitful spring, there were ...
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Skye Jethani is the executive editor of Leadership Journal, an ordained pastor, and the author of numerous books. He co-hosts the weekly Phil Vischer Podcast and speaks regularly at churches, conferences, and colleges. He makes his home with his wife and three children in Wheaton, Illinois.