This month our writers are reflecting on personal themes for Lent. People have different traditions to draw near to God and to prepare for Holy week and Easter. They may celebrate Ash Wednesday, fast, give up luxuries to remind themselves of Jesus’ sacrifice for our salvation, read a daily devotional or pray through a Lenten calendar...or more.
The Road to Emmaus
During Lent I often prepare for Easter by reading through a part of Jesus’ story. One year I read through the four Gospels. Other years I focused on one particular Gospel or on the last week of Jesus’ life. Once I wrote Bible studies on Jesus’ passion from the viewpoint of Peter and John.
Whenever possible, I attend a Good Friday service, followed by a meditative walk through the sixteen Stations of the Cross (ending in the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost) at the Entheos Retreat Centre in the forest near Calgary. And then on Sunday, I attend our church’s Resurrection service (sometimes including a sunrise service in Nose Hill Park).
This year I needed to begin Lent a different way. I wanted to attend an Ash Wednesday service, but had other commitments. Instead, I later spent a day in a private retreat, a day to clear out all the mental and emotional clutter that had been accumulating. It was a day to refocus my thoughts on God and to discern what He wants for me during this Lenten season.
And so I’ve begun reading through the prophecies of Jesus in the Old Testament. Fortunately I still have my old Bible which has a star beside each verse that foretells Jesus. As I write this blog post, I’m meditating in Genesis, where Jacob, the patriarch of Israel, blessed his sons. As he blessed Judah, the Spirit of God revealed that Judah’s tribe would be the Messianic royal tribe, with Jesus symbolized by the Lion, the king of beasts. In essence, Jacob prophesied in seed form the whole purpose of Christ, even looking beyond Jesus’ death and resurrection.
The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples (Genesis 49:10 ESV).
Today we understand better the panorama and meaning of Jesus’ death and resurrection, which the two men on the road to Emmaus did not. And although some prophecies have yet to be fulfilled, we know that the scepter of dominion will someday be His.
In conclusion, during this season of Lent, what tradition are you observing and what deeper meanings of Christ is God is revealing to you?