Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. It’s a time of the year that’s observed by some in the Christian world. But for most Christians today, Lent has been forgotten and goes unobserved. What is Lent? This time of year is actually a good practice because it’s traditionally a time meant for Christians to reflect upon what we’ve done wrong toward God and others, upon our personal failings, unforgiveness, personal vices, and other ways we’ve fallen short in our lives. May we prepare to move toward repentance so that we can truly and more deeply experience repentance and forgiveness through Christ.
During Lent, may we experience a spiritual revival through genuinely repentant hearts, as expressed through the words of the prophet Joel:
12 Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with all your hearts, with fasting, with weeping, and with sorrow; 13 tear your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the LORD your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, very patient, full of faithful love, and ready to forgive. 14 Who knows whether he will have a change of heart and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the LORD your God? 15 Blow the horn in Zion; demand a fast; request a special assembly. 16 Gather the people; prepare a holy meeting; assemble the elders; gather the children, even nursing infants. Let the groom leave his room and the bride her chamber. 17 Between the porch and the altar let the priests, the LORD’s ministers, weep. Let them say, “Have mercy, LORD, on your people, and don’t make your inheritance a disgrace, an example of failure among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?'” 18 Then the LORD became passionate about this land, and had pity on his people. (Joel 2:12-18, Common English Bible)