SCRIPTURE SEEDS | INTRO TO LENT
I don’t know about you, but as I look back over the years I’ve realized I’m bent on living in seasons. The college season, engagement season, newlywed season, new homeowner season. There’s something about grouping consecutive portions of time together that brings a sort of order and overarching theme my soul thrives on. Obviously I’m not the only one — after all — we group our days with weeks, weeks with months, months with years, and seasons are woven in between it all. Not to mention, our yearly calendar at Winnefred Austin is called Seasons of Faith! The Church has a calendar too that carries us throughout significant events and seasons in our faith. Lent is one of those seasons.
I grew up in the United Methodist Church, graduated from a Baptist university (hi Samford!), spent my college days in a non-denomination church — like me, perhaps you have been exposed to a variety of churches, denominations, and traditions too. One of these traditions that has grown closer to me over the years (and this year in particular) is the season of Lent. As a child in the Methodist Church, I remember always knowing the basics of what Lent is — though I never felt obligation of participation in "giving something up." Instead, Lent felt like a seat at the table demonstrating how the Church prepares for Easter. And that’s really all I knew. I didn’t give up chocolate or movies or fill in the blank. More than anything, I knew it was just something we did at church sometime before Easter. To some extent maybe you can relate — it’s always been there, but maybe we haven’t spend too much time going deeper with it. Or maybe you’re already all in with Lent. I love it! Either way, you are welcome here.
Over the past few years as we’ve dug into Advent with our Joyful Noise Advent calendar, it started stirring this feeling of need as I looked ahead into the next season once we all (maybe, finally) put the Christmas tree away. Reading Scripture daily during this season brought a much brighter light to it — yes it illuminated the Light of our Lord, the very reason we celebrate. I found this to be true with Advent, and I’m praying the same to be true with Lent as we prepare for Easter.
So what is Lent?
Merriam-Webster defines Lent as “the 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday to Easter observed by the Roman Catholic, Eastern, and some Protestant churches as a period of penitence and fasting.”
If all you see from that definition is Roman Catholic and that’s not you — don’t let that stop you! As believers we are are all Easter people, so we are all Lenten people too. This season serves to prepare our hearts for Resurrection Sunday. The way Lent is lived looks different for all of us. Now penitence does not mean we are causing harm — it does mean we are creating some sort of interruption to our daily comforts (I like to call them autopilots) in life. Why do we do this? To create a deeper need within us for Jesus to be everything we ever need. We are reminding ourselves nothing else we find satisfaction in this world truly satisfies us. So whether you give something up or set a goal to focus on something more — that’s up to you.
As for me, I want to dig deeper into Scripture instead of the little distractions that grasp for my attention. Flowers grow and face the sun — a posture that gives them life. So do I want to be a seed planted in this Lenten season. I want to grow, watered by the Word; so my face may turn to face the Son. Then He will be my source of light and life. That’s the heart behind Scripture Seeds, and why I wanted to make this Lenten Scripture set.
But here’s the thing — this season won’t go exactly the way you planned. The Lord made that super clear to me from the day we got our Scripture Seeds card sets in the mail from our printers. The timing was going to be just right — I had orders to fill and packaging ready to go. I had been preparing it all ahead of time to make it easier and faster. But of course, that didn’t end up working. The beautiful hand stamped bags I planned on using for packaging were too small! Despite my measuring beforehand, something simply just didn’t add up. I had to start over and try again with the packaging. And if that wasn’t enough, we had a printing problem and had to have multiple pages redone. And then the shipping hurdles, yes of course! The overnighted package did not arrive the next day, but 2 days later at a mailing facility where I frantically drove to pick it up. I thought I could handle it all in my planned timing, but that clearly was not the case! (Is it ever the case if we’re being real?!) Even in this perceived chaos, grace met me with a deep breath and strength to keep going. Don’t grow weary in planning good seeds. Thankfully, the Lord has given me the most helpful and gracious family who prepped packaging, sorted through pages and pages, and encouraged me the whole way. On your Lenten walk, you will need these kind of people as you go, and they will need you too.
So there it is — If you decide to dedicate yourself to a certain posture during Lent — we’ll all walk into whatever it may be with the best intentions. But when you find your hand in the cookie jar, take heart. Lent is not meant to be easy and if it’s difficult — you’re on the right track. Lent is not about our own successes or doings or sacrifices, but all about what Jesus already did for us on the cross. He gave up everything, even life itself, so we may have life with Him all our days.
May it be so.
We would absolutely love for you to dig into Scripture with us this Lenten season! Find Scripture Seeds here.