“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.”
Matthew 4:1-2 ESV
I grew up Catholic and remember each year in the early part of spring talking about Lent. I knew lent meant one thing: giving something up. I gave up chocolate, video games, and a handful of other items that I quickly stopped doing much like a new year’s resolution. I thought that Lent’s entire meaning rested in these items that I removed from my life for 40 days. It was only later in life that I began to learn all that Lent meant.
Jesus took 40 days alone in the desert without food or water as his time of preparation. Jesus, the Son of God, took time to prepare for the important work that God has in store for him. Lent became a season in the church that grew out of a remembrance of Jesus 40 days of preparation. Lent for us does not rest in a mandate to give up something for 40 days. Instead it is a time of Spiritual preparation. For some abstaining from something might create space to rely on God and connect with Him. For you it might mean adding something. Add extra time for prayer each morning, read an extra few verses of scripture, read a Lenten devotional (https://www.rca.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=6345, https://woh.org/word/devotionals/), or set aside time to reflect on your day, and to be grateful for how God is at work in your life.
Lent will mean something different for each person, but I want to encourage you to consider how you can intentionally engage in this time of Spiritual preparation leading up to Easter.