Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Sacrament by Matthew Whitney

Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the Lenten season, leading up to Holy Week and Easter. The first time I gave any thought to Lent was my freshman year of college. I had only recently begun to take my faith seriously and was looking forward to celebrating Lent for the first time as a follower of Jesus. But first I wanted to learn more about what it is and why we observe it as Christians, so I did what seemed reasonable: looked up the word "Lent" in the concordance at the back of my Bible. What?! Lent is not mentioned in the Bible? Hmm. If something is not in the Bible, where is the next best place to look? The internet, of course. So that was how I got my first introduction to the idea of liturgical calendars and seasons -- some random website (this was in the dark ages before Wikipedia).

I wish I could say that ever since that day, the liturgical calendar played an important role in my life, but it wasn't really until about two years ago that it re-emerged as an integral part of the way I follow Jesus. As my friend Brian put it, "I think it is impossible for anyone to experience Easter without first experiencing Good Friday." So once again, as I did my freshman year, I look forward to this season. I want to follow Jesus on the road toward Jerusalem, toward the cross. It will be dark and brutal at times, but it will drive me toward a deeper understanding of my utter need, my poverty of spirit, my broken humanity... and on from there, into a new gratitude for His grace, His mercy, His victory.


Felicity said...

I'm actually conscious of Lent for the first time in my Christian life. I found a small pin made of ivory with a cross engraved on it and I'm going to try to wear it everyday of the season. It isn't much, but I just want to be AWARE - to be connected to this space on the Christian calendar and try to absorb its importance a little.

Also, your labyrinth looks awesome! Nice work. I've been wanting to visit one soon. Sadly, I am far, far from Seattle! : )

Haley Ballast said...

Thank you Felicity. I hope your observance of Lent this year draws you closer to Christ as we move toward celebrating His victory at Easter!