I love Lent. I love how it can help get us ready for Easter, building anticipation in us so that we don’t just wander aimlessly into it as if it were just another Sunday.
Anticipation is one of Easter’s, and by extension Lent’s, central themes. We look forward, most of all, to the day Christ the King returns to reorder every part of his kingdom to perfection.
But to get to Easter we go through Lent, through fasting and prayer that is at times inconvenient, uncomfortable, even painful. It parallels the process of waiting for our King, when we pray and wait through all sorts of pain. And of course, the process of becoming King included the pain of dying by crucifixion.
The joy comes after the sorrow. The hope comes after all seems lost. So much seems so wrong before we get to experience it being right.
And that is hard to live in, but for some reason that is how it is. We just have to wait.
So we decide how to wait. Do we wait with hope? With expectancy? In anticipation? Or do we try to avoid any sense of waiting by just going on with life, doing what we want?
Lent teaches us to wait well. We wait for each Sunday to enjoy what we are otherwise fasting from. And we wait for the celebration of Easter. And we are reminded that just as surely as Sunday comes, and Easter comes, Christ will come.
Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ come again. And his kingdom will never end.