Today is Ash Wednesday which is the first day of Lent. The concept of ash reminds us of our mortality and without Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross we would face an eternity separated from God.
Lent is the 40 days prior to Easter. In the early church, Lent was a time when new converts received instruction on becoming a follower of Jesus. Starting on Good Friday, they began a fast that culminated in their baptism on Saturday evening during the Easter vigil.
For Christians today, Lent has evolved into different things.
For some, it’s a time of giving up… not eating a certain food or giving up a past time they normally participate in the rest of the year.
For others, it’s a time of giving. They seek people and organizations that need their time, talent and/or treasure.
For others, it’s a time of spiritual devotion in study and prayer.
It’s not a bad idea to consider all three as part of our preparation to celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord.