The following is a message from Kenlyn McGrew, our editor for this years Pathways Through Lent. If you are receiving this via email, you have successfully signed up to receive each meditation:
I suppose it is inappropriate to wish you a happy Lent.
Lent, at least in the modern church, is not a season of joy. It is the season of penitence, of guilt, of giving up. It begins by brushing us with ashes and reminding us that we shall die; it ends with the brutal crucifixion of our Lord and king. There is no season in the calendar so dark—for me, at least.
Yet, as I had the privilege of editing these devotionals that will be published daily, I began to wonder if I had been missing the point of Lent. There is a reason, after all, that this is the season of Good Friday, that it is known by the Eastern churches as the Great Lent. There is a reason that it falls just when the days are lengthening and the sunlight returning. There is a reason that the very word lent refers to spring, to the season of hope and new beginnings.
The many authors of this little blog gave me a great gift. They reminded me that Lent is not just a season of pain and penitence—it is a season of preparation for joy. And it is as necessary to us as Easter, for without the crucifixion, there could be no empty tomb. There could be no joy in Christ.
So, as we pass through this season, let us repent. But as we remember its grief, let us also remember its greatness. Let us remember that, though the altar may be stripped, the church is anything but empty.
As these devotions keep you through Lent, I pray that they will be as generous to you as they have been to me. You have before you the beginning of a great joy.
The days lengthen. Easter morn comes.
Happy Lent, indeed.