The month of March is the last month of the first quarter of the year. It is considered the windy month when many will put together kites and see how high and how long they can fly. Though we have seen so far this year higher than normal temperatures, March usually brings in Springtime weather. In fact, the first day of spring is March 20th. In our part of the country we start seeing daffodils sprouting up and forsythia bushes beginning to bloom.
In the Christian church, this March is more than just nice weather, flying kites, and flowers beginning to bloom. This year the entire month of March is part of the season of Lent. Lent is the forty days, excluding Sundays, before Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Maundy Thursday. It is considered the most important season of the church’s year. Christians will often make a Lenten sacrifice, make time for daily devotional activity, and give alms (money) to charity during Lent. These are described as the ‘Three Pillars of Lent.
Lent lasts for 40 days to commemorate Jesus’ time in the wilderness. As written in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus spent 40 days fasting and praying in the wilderness.
If you recall, Jesus was tempted three times by Satan. These temptations were:
- Turn the stones into bread to feed Himself.
- Jump from the roof of the temple in Jerusalem and rely on angels to catch Him.
- Worship Satan and get in return all of the world’s kingdoms.
But Jesus rebukes Satan, saying:
- “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
- “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” (Matthew 4:7)
- “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.” (Matthew 4:10)
Lent is a time of giving up. The giving up should be that of sin, anything that keeps us apart from God and not be tempted to engage in ways that are contrary to the teachings of the Lord. As we make our journey to the cross, may we all be together as one with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Rev. John Carey