Lent...Journey to the Cross
As a child, one of the most meaningful experiences of the Lenten season was attending the Easter performance at church. My parents played parts each year, so I saw many performances, and I watched practice after practice. I could quote many lines and sing all the songs. Even though I saw it multiple times each year, I remember watching in awe as the actor who portrayed the part of Jesus walked the long aisle of the church with a huge wooden cross draped across his back. Lacerations on his body were created by red lipstick but realistically symbolized the pain endured by Christ. I remember sitting in the pew and wondering if he would ever make it to the front of the church. As the actor slowly walked, weighted down by the cross, he stumbled and fell many times. Each time He fell, I knew his journey had been prolonged.
Throughout this season, we journey to the cross with Jesus. As we walk along side of Him, we must remember the word "preparation" defined as the act of getting ready. As humans, we oftentimes find ourselves preparing for events and milestones in our lives. We prepare for new school years, graduations, moves, new jobs, vacations, weddings, and births of new babies and even small tasks such as meals. We must ask ourselves the question, "Do we take time to prepare ourselves for worship?" The Lenten season is about sacrifice, prayer, repentance, and the preparation to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
During the Lenten season last year, as a close friend and I discussed the sacrifices we had made in preparation and observance, a small child who was listening more attentively than we thought said, "I was going to give something up, but Lent already started, so I will wait until next year." There had been no preparation. From the mouth of a child, this comment is cute and even a bit comical; however, how many adults have the same mindset? How many of us fail to prepare our hearts and minds causing us to miss out on the importance of the Easter season?
Each person's preparation will be different. Maybe you have decided to prepare yourself for this journey by giving up something that you love or by spending more time reading your Bible and in prayer. Jesus knew of His fate, and He spent the night before His death in prayer and preparation for what was to come. For Him, the journey to the cross wasn't just that walk to Golgotha, but it started at the manger where His life as a human and a child of God began. Because of His journey that ended at the cross with ultimate sacrifice, we have the encouragement and comfort that the final destination of our journey is eternal life with Him.