Focusing on Jesus Throughout Lent

LENT

By Beckie Evans

Lent is something I did not grow up observing or even talking about in my evangelical Baptist church on the prairies. I was vaguely aware of its existence, but only as it was important to more liturgical faith communities like Anglicans or Catholics. My Dad, who was my pastor, viewed the “High Church” with suspicion, so I did too. No Lent for us.

Fast forward many years and my somewhat unexpected spiritual journey landed me smack dab in the centre of a deep desert. Dry. Disappointed. Disillusioned. Many of the beliefs I carried with me through my first 40 years imploded. I was left with little. But I had one thing I could not let go of. I felt a bit like Peter when, in a state of bewilderment, said to Jesus, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68) Jesus was all I had.

The season was Lent, the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. In my grief I began exploring the why’s and how’s of this period and found it to be a beautiful expression of my deep need to consider the person of Jesus.

My Mom sent me a passage of scripture from 1 John 2. The passage spoke about us having a friend who intercedes/advocates/speaks to God, our Creator, for us. I spent the next 40 days meditating on this passage, as well as others. 1 John 2 highlighted the name of Jesus in a way I rarely thought about. The peace and comfort gleaned from a growing intimate knowledge of Jesus who was quite literally my “lawyer” sustained me, encouraged me, supported and kept me.

This is a space I am inviting you into. Maybe there was a season in your life where you met Jesus in a fresh way. Maybe it was a surprise. Maybe it was after deep pondering. Please consider writing a 300-500 word devotional, or creating a piece of art to share your story and learnings with us. To help spark a memory for you, please check this list of names of Jesus at Bible Gateway.

Please have all submissions in to me at childrensworship@emmanuelmennonite.com by the end of January. If you have any questions please ask me. We hope to have church wide devotionals to all in our community by February 11.

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