My feed-reader is filling up with a variety of reflections on Lent.
I’m among those who are not practitioners.
This piece by Sarah Condon at Mockingbird is very constructive in reminding us that Christian devotion must focus on what Christ has done, not on efforts to emulate that which he alone could do.
What Jesus did in the desert and what we attempt to do at Lent are almost wholly unrelated.
I would argue that Lent is not about us giving something up. In fact, it is not about our actions at all. Lent is a moment when we watch Jesus from afar. We are on the other side of the desert, watching him deny himself, bearing witness to his teachings and miracles, observing the disciples failing to stay awake, knowing that the agony of the cross is close at hand. Lent is not sad because we can’t eat carbs. Lent is sad because we are forced to watch the slow, deliberate movement of our Savior from his ministry to his cross. And it reminds us of our sin and our powerlessness over it.
We were not in the desert for 40 days fending off the devil and all manner of temptation. Jesus was. For us. Because we are sinners. And as such, we would have taken all the devil offered.
Read the rest here.