You may think of Lent as hard, somber, or only for Catholics, but more and more Christ-followers are finding it a blessing.
But my experience is that Lent is like the easy yoke of Jesus: It’s hard to get into it, but once you do you discover it to be the best life!
Lent starts with Ash Wednesday. It’s a forty day journey of the cross that prepares us for Easter’s resurrection — and to live with resurrection joy and power every day of the year!
I find it especially helpful during Lent and Holy Week to immerse myself in the Gospel stories of Jesus and his cross. I written a 68-page guide to share this journey with you: Unforsaken: With Jesus on the Stations of the Cross.
Drawn In By the Radiant Smile!
“Come to me,” Jesus says. And to receive his invitation you’ve got to see his smile shining over you like sunlight and his arms open to you like a mother when her little child comes running to her!
The Lord Jesus knows when you feel “weary and burdened” and he promises, “I will give you rest.” He explains, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
We may wince at the thought of being like a young ox that’s yoked to another ox in order to pull a plow across a field! But in the analogy Jesus is the lead ox that we’re connecting with! And he assures us that to get into his yoke is to learn to walk in his “rhythms of grace.” (MSG)
This Makes Lent “Easy”!
Many Christians don’t practice Lent. Few people think of it as “easy.” But in truth Lent becomes an easy yoke when we keep going deeper in our appreciation of the mercy and grace of Christ and we learn how to apply it to our daily life.
Traditionally, the discipline of Lent is to fast from something, but not as an end in itself. Self-denial is like medicine — it helps us when we need comfort and strength.
The purpose of denying yourself something is to engage more deeply with the God who loves you with great delight! We look up to Christ dying on the cross for our sins and see through his anguish and into the radiant, undying love of God that’s on his face and in his words.
You know from your own experience that when you learn with the Lord’s help to deny yourself something, whether extra desserts or angry words, this makes your life easier and better!
So for Lent you might fast from meals periodically in order to focus on Scripture meditation and intercession for others. Or you might limit the time you spend watching television or on Facebook in order to make a space connect with Christ in the Gospels and then share with a friend.
Let Me Guide You
I’d be honored to guide you through the days of Lent and show you step-by-step how following Jesus as he carries his cross for you and taking up your cross with him can become a surprisingly easy yoke for you. Soul Shepherding has two resources that you can choose from to use for Lent:
In both books you’ll be drawn into a captivating intimacy with Christ!
You’ll discover fresh insights in Bible studies that focus on the person of Christ and inspire your “apprenticeship” to the Master of Life.
And you’ll learn about your personal stress points and how to pray through them and relax in Jesus’ easy yoke. Yes, even when you’re stressed you can live a more relaxed life with your sweet and strong Savior at your side!
You’d be doubly blessed to share this easy yoke crown-walk with a friend or your small group as the books are made for experiencing and sharing!