is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday
and ends on Holy Saturday. The forty days (not including Sundays) represents
the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and
preparing to begin his ministry.
is a time of repentance, fasting, and preparation for the coming of Easter. It
is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a
time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christian’s focus on their
relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and
give of themselves for others.
My invitation to our All Saints family, is
that our Lenten discipline of repentance, fasting, and preparation will be
about rediscovering our Kingdom Identity, and letting God remove all that is
getting in our way of living a Kingdom life so that Easter can be a marvelous
celebration of our new Kingdom Identity, which was definitively established at
At Jesus’ baptism, we witness a Father’s celebration of his
Son, “This is my son, whom I love; with
him I am well pleased” (Mt. 3:17). In this brief phrase, Jesus is affirmed in all
he is by the Father. In turn, we are told all we need to know about his
relationship with God. In these words we see a celebration of Jesus’ true
identity. The 40 years that the Israelites spent in the desert was a period of
regularly forgetting who they were. In contrast, Jesus’ time in the desert
becomes a place to remember who he is. The Father’s words of affirmation are
the ones that are echoing in Jesus’ ears when he goes into the wilderness,
words that reinforce his response when tempted. A grounded response, drawn from
the security he gains from knowing who he is.
In the passage, all of the tempter’s questions start by
questioning Jesus’ identity; “If you are…” yet the foundation of these
questions is based on false assumptions of who Jesus is. Satan wants Jesus to
believe his power is about the spectacular and the impressive; it is power as
control. But Jesus’ identity is based on humility and love; a very different
kind of power. This true identity, as modeled by Jesus, is an identity rooted
in a relationship with the Father.
Lent is a season for
us to slow down and willingly recognize our own vulnerabilities, those places
where Satan likes to attack our identity as children of God. But it is in those
same places of attack, the wildernesses in our lives where our identity can
also be solidified when we choose to place ourselves in God’s care, we choose
to believe his Word over Satan’s lies.
This Lent, my invitation to you is to
do two things:
First, do the hard
work of purposefully spending time in the wilderness to reconcile yourself to
your true identity in God. Give up a bad habit rooted in your old dead sinful
self, and invite the Lord to replace it with a new discipline rooted in your
And second, if you
are ready, take on the challenge of entering into the wilderness to reconcile
our corporate identity as All Saints Anglican Church. Share in these two
communal Lenten disciplines to remind US of who WE are, and whom we truly
to reading the daily office through Lent. The scripture readings can be found
from after dinner on Tuesday night to dinner on Wednesday night, then join us
at church for a soup and salad dinner to break the fast, along with a time of
sharing and prayer, which will conclude with celebrating the Eucharist. (Hard
copies of the daily reading and how to fast safely will be available at church)
Our Wednesday night
gatherings are open to all, regardless of whether you are fasting or not.
Sundays in Lent are not counted in the forty days because each Sunday
represents a "mini-Easter" and the reverent spirit of Lent is
tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection.
your Lent be an identity defining moment in your journey with Jesus (2 Cor.
the sake of others we walk with Jesus
Christ for God’s Glory