I wasn't a Lent Christian growing up. We were pentecostals and we didn't practice such traditions. Lent was seen as to Catholic and to ritualistic. Not that we had any objection to extended periods of prayer and fasting, but the penitence part was to "legalistic" and it was thought that it was to "dependent upon our own ability to be saved."
As long as I have observed Lent, I've never been to keen on the penitence aspect and this year was no difference. In fact I struggled to keep my Lenten fast in so many ways. At first this really upset me, it depressed me and made me feel inadequate, but then my friend and fellow pastor Coy Remer said, "Well then you're doing it right!" I thought about that and came to the conclusion that Lent is about us humans fixating on our humanity, frailty and fallen nature. Instead of penitence we ought to focus on our propensity for sin and our inability to do absolutely nothing about it! What better way to do that than to see myself fail in my attempt to please God on my own?
This Lent, do to many personal issues, has been one of the darkest Lents of all time for me and because of this I AM SO READY FOR EASTER! This Lent I have come to the conclusion that Christ is absolutely my righteousness and holiness. Without Christ I am dead.
This Easter seems like such a gift. I reminder that because Christ lives, so shall I also live. I suppose as a pastor I should have a pretty good grasp on the last two idea's, i.e Christ as my righteousness and having eternal life through Christ, but like anything the profundity of this truth can get lost in the everyday hassle of life and can become common place especially as a pastor. This Easter I'm taking it all in, this Easter I'm gonna latch on to this idea of life, freedom, and forgiveness in Christ and truly enjoy what it's like to live again! I invite you to do the same.
Have a blessed Holy Week and Easter!