I heard a description of Lent today that I just love—Lent is a time to embrace grace.
I grew up attending a Catholic school, so as a child that was really my only experience with Lent (I am Baptist, after all). Most of what I remember learning about Lent had to do with giving something up—something like tv or chocolate or soda. Something to help you think about sacrifice.
Over the years I’ve embraced that notion. Not so much giving up chocolate, but the idea of less. I’ve come to understand Lent as a season that invites us to create space in our chaotic, too full lives. I’ve come to understand it as a season of quiet and stillness and allowing God to enter in and work in our hearts and in our lives.
But it’s also more than that. I love the idea of choosing to use this time to focus on grace. This year I want to embrace the grace that is mine because of what Jesus did for me on the cross. I want to say thank you as often as I say I’m sorry. I want to allow myself to sit in awe of what God has done and is continuing to do in this world. I want to practice gratitude and wonder and joy in light of what Jesus chose to do for me even though I didn’t deserve it.
This season, for me, will be an exercise in embracing grace—when I don’t feel it, when I don’t deserve it, when I don’t notice it. I am choosing to lean in and listen hard to God’s voice, to the constant refrain that I am beloved.