The 40-day journey to Easter
Today is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent and the 40 days before Easter. This is a powerful spiritual season to focus on the disciplines of fasting and prayer which Jesus and the apostles spoke about and practiced. This season helps prepare our hearts for Easter.
Traditionally the main practices and key aspects of Lent are prayer, fasting, alms giving and receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday. As we begin Lent, we’ll challenge you to fast from something you’ve been dependent on. As we fast from these things we’ve relied on, we often become more aware of our need to depend on Jesus more. We’ll help you identify those things which we’ve packed as we travel light that we might unpack them and leave them behind. These things can tempt us with a false basis of support, protection, comfort or what we wrongly consider will give us “real” life. We’ll encourage you to “fast” from something that promises to provide what really only God can ultimately provide. Then use the extra time and energy to talk to and focus on Jesus the one who truly supplies what we need most.
In Luke 9:1-6 Jesus invited His disciples into a journey of traveling light to take new ground. He sent them out to “proclaim the Kingdom of God” - to push back darkness and to bring healing - but without any supplies. This Lent, we believe that God is inviting each of us to travel light in order to take new ground. As we leave behind some of the things that we’ve grown to rely on, and even feel necessary, we are trusting that God is going to take us to places we’ve never been before in our journey with Him. We are hoping that God is going to use us to push back darkness and bring healing too. Let’s travel light as God leads us to take new ground.
Jesus sent His disciples on a journey to proclaim the Kingdom in Luke 9:1-6. Their ability to proclaim the Kingdom was linked to their willingness to obey Jesus’ instructions on what not to bring. Many times when God wants to lead us deeper and further in our journeys with Him, He asks us to let go first. It’s in the trusting that we’re able to see His provision and faithfulness. Trusting is not always easy. Letting things go is not always easy. Reflect on these questions the next 40 days. Journaling and writing out your thoughts may also be helpful to you in this process.