A few people and I were talking the other day and I must have heard the phrase, "Lenten Journey" about a dozen times between them. I got thinking about how we throw some words around in the church, but we don't always explain them. Like "Lenten Journey." What exactly does that mean? Well, if you want to get all lofty and religious sounding, you could say that your whole life is a journey and Lent is a place along the way. But I'm not much on the "loftier" side of things, so I puzzled over what it might mean to us regular guys. Here's what I came up with:
During the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday (not counting the Sundays of course), most people reflect on their faith and how they practice it. For many, Lent becomes a time of turning around, changing some things--like a bad habit or an overindulgence, not because someone says you have to, but because for some reason this time gives you pause. The readings in the church are showing you a picture of Jesus and the things he stood for, the things he tried to show others. And we know where this time is leading in those stories. Holy Week is right around the corner and even though Easter is coming, we still have to get through Good Friday. It feels like there is a lot to think about going from that Wednesday to that future Sunday. And so people refer to the time in Lent as a journey. Getting from point A to point B. Preparing for the awful story of Good Friday and celebrating the exhubrance of Easter. And that's what I think it means to say "Lenten Journey". But I could be wrong. What do you think?