What is the Message of Lent?
“Mardi Gras” and “Fat Tuesday” are “celebrated” by some just before the start of Lent. Some view them as a last chance to “be really bad” before repenting of one’s sins (on Ash Wednesday) and then with renewed devotion and discipline “being good again” for Lent. Sadly, the Christian tradition of Lent has become polluted. The message the culture has gotten is, “You can live like you want as long as you do your yearly religious requirement at Lent. Just appease God with sacrifices and He’s happy.” Sadly, many think this is what it means to be a Christian.
God’s Word paints a different picture, however. God is not interested in religious duty but in relationship with us! “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness,” God says in Jeremiah 31:3. The reality is that our sin keeps us from an intimate relationship with God. The only solution is to honestly and humbly come to God and confess our sin. We must trust Jesus’ death on the cross as the payment for our sin. If it wasn’t for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, none of us could know forgiveness of sins. None of us could enjoy a restored relationship with our Heavenly Father. That is the simple message of Lent, and it is the message our culture desperately needs to get. So, let’s get the message out—okay?