Many Christians around the world recognize Easter as a time when we remember Christ’s death and resurrection. As much as they know this, what we see manifesting is people planning for family gatherings, road trips, gift-giving, travel, and other fun bonding activities. While all these things are good, it is easy to forget what the season before Easter is about, and that season is Lent.
It’s a season common to most Christians but very few observe it in its true form, or from the perspective of what it really is. When Christ came to earth there were significant events that took place as part of his journey to the cross, and this is one of the reasons we observe Lent. That is, to reflect on those events and what they mean for us as Christians.
Rev. Joseph Obwanda, a seasoned Theologian and KEMU University Chaplain explains, “The Lent season is a time where Christians of all traditions and ages reflect on the passion of Christ and his preparation for the 40 days leading to his death on the cross. It’s a time of repentance and a time of piety in terms of dedicating one’s self to your spiritual devotion, and demonstrating great sacrifice in serving others just like Christ did give himself.”
To reflect on the journey of the cross, to draw closer to our salvation in Christ, and to repent of our wayward ways is something the individual of today may or may not have time for. It takes a certain level of discipline and commitment to be able to see growth in your personal walk with God and to observe a season of such depth. In our day, depth is often found at the bottom of the list, yet lent is derived from a selfless, loving act by God himself.
Christians hold different views on this sacred season and have different ways they perceive it and practice Lent. Before we get to the bottom line, Stacey, a student from Nairobi says “From my perspective Lent is more about fasting. When I say fasting it’s more about your bad habits and sacrificing something you treasure, not necessarily food. Each year, I observe different fasts, sometimes food. I take it as a good time to reform.”
Sandra, a media professional would like to begin observing lent, and she says “I know that lent is, a period that we give up something that we love or means a lot to us or a bad habit that we want to work on changing. I used to observe lent because of my Christian background, but once I grew up I don’t observe it right now, but I would like to go back to doing that.”
Taking time to reflect on how a world-shaking, life-changing event affects us and how we are relevant to it, and what we ought to do about it is paramount if we want to understand why we even exist, especially as Christians. If a Christian and any individual seeking God’s face takes for granted the sole reason why we are who we are as Christians, then we miss the point of why we even believe what we do.
So why should we observe lent? “We should take time to reflect and particularly on how the significance of our spirituality is impacting our realities in life. How does our being Christian, the life, death and the resurrection of Christ have an impact and demand on our own lifestyles? As we reflect we do so on our spiritual lives and how genuine we are about that. That’s why there is a lot of repentance, reflection, denial, and sacrifice. There is a lot that goes into this lent season.”
Now I know some of you, maybe thinking ‘oh no, I may not have observed Lent as I ought, and Easter is already here.’ Take heart, this is why the curtain was split and Christ said “It is finished.” It means that you can still observe lent throughout your Christian walk. Meaning, that you may not necessarily be fasting all your life, but just to always be intentionally aware of the fact that it is by grace that He chose you and not the other way around.
Lent season reminds us of this fact, but I think that more to this, our everyday walk with God ought to always ring a bell, that salvation was given freely, that it took a blood sacrifice and that we are free because of it. We can be called chosen and can stand accounted for as God’s children because of the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus died for you, for us. And as if it wasn’t enough, he gave us victory over death when he rose again.
Well, put by Rev. Obwanda when he says, “In this season, are we able to activate our faith and appropriate the graces of God for certain things in our lives to experience the re-enacting of the death and resurrection of Christ.”
As you enjoy your Easter break, I leave you with this question: Do you know the cost of your salvation?