Dear First Pres,

We are now officially in the church season of Lent. Lent is the season of 40 days (not counting Sundays) that lead into Easter. Why 40 days? It's because they represent the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness before the launch of His public ministry (read Luke 4:1-13). In the same way that God used those 40 days in the wilderness to prepare Jesus for ministry, we consider the season of Lent to be a time of preparation or training to live into the reality of the Resurrection. So, just like Jesus fasted and prayed during his wilderness experience, Christians often observe the Lenten season by observing some kind of fast or taking up some kind of spiritual discipline. All of it for the sake of increasing our surrender to the empowering presence and lordship of Jesus.
   Lent, then, is a great season for self-examination and reflection. It's a great time to ask questions like: How is my heart before God? What areas of my life seem difficult for me to surrender to God? Is there anyone I'm refusing to forgive? In what ways am I unwilling to obey God? How is God at work in my life today? Intentional times of reflection with questions like these have been very impactful in my life with Christ over the past many years. I encourage you to lean into Lent by taking time to seriously consider these questions before the Lord.
   Finally, Lent is also a great time to focus our prayers. One way you can do that this season is by using the Seek God for the City prayer guide in your personal devotional time. It's available in booklet form or as an app.
   Another way to focus our prayers is to participate in our Wednesday night Lenten series. It starts this coming Wednesday at 6:30 pm and is open for all adults. Each week there will be music, teaching, and prayer as we seek to grow in Christ together.
   I believe that God can use this season of Lent in powerful ways in our lives individually and corporately. But that transformation comes only as we engage with Jesus. So, how will you specifically engage with Jesus in preparation to live in the reality of the Resurrection we celebrate at Easter?