I find the name ‘Lent’ a little odd for the 40 days of fasting, prayer and preparation leading up to Easter. It seems to derive from an Old English word for spring having to do with ‘lengthier’ days. On the other hand, ‘Lent’ is a lot easier than ‘quadragesima’, which is the Latin expression.
Would it help if we thought of the word in the usual sense, as in “she lent me her car for the weekend”? We could see it as emphasizing the borrowed nature of human existence. We are living on borrowed time. Life is lent to us by God and we are required to give an account for how we have used it. That could give us pause for reflection and repentance.
Another option is using the word for an acronym. They are very popular these days. What about this – Living in Extraordinary Newness Together? The cross of Christ is the means whereby God puts an end to the old life of sin and selfishness. His resurrection empowers us to ‘walk in newness of life’ (Romans 6:4, 8:11). This is truly miraculous – and extraordinary. The ‘Together’ part emphasizes the communal nature of our faith. God has made us a family, also called ‘the body of Christ’ or simply ‘the church’. I realize that, clever as it may be, this acronym is not very catchy.
The first Sunday of the Lenten season is February 18th. We will celebrate our extraordinary new life together in Christ as we share in our Lord’s Supper at all three churches. Hope you will join us!
In Christ’s love,