"A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” (Isaiah 40:3)
In the weeks and months leading up to the birth of our son, we were busy preparing. We read books, assembled furniture, painted and frantically finished other projects around the house. We wanted to make sure that whenever the day came, we would be ready. That’s often the way we approach significant events in our lives. Whether it’s a family vacation, a job transition, or an important deadline, we want to be ready for things that are important. Typically, we want to do everything we can to ensure things go smoothly. Can you imagine trying to assemble a crib and paint the nursery the same day the baby comes home from the hospital? Our work to be prepared helps mitigate stress, but it also changes something in our minds and hearts. Preparing for important life events causes us to internalize the significance they represent. With each piece of furniture I assembled for the baby, I realized a little more how much life was about to change. The same is true of preparing for all of life’s biggest moments.
In that spirit, we at Westgate are excited for the season of Lent which begins on Wednesday, February 17. It is a time of preparation as we approach Good Friday and Easter, similar to our observation of Advent in December. Specifically, we want to be intentional about preparing our hearts and minds to celebrate the love of Christ for us, carried out in his death and resurrection. These are the most important events in history, so our commemoration of Christ’s work is an important part of our faith. And like other important events in life, we want to be ready for it.
This year, we are joining together in this process by reading a Lent devotional. Our hope is that with each day’s short reading, we realize a little more how much Christ has changed everything, for our good and his glory. We want to consider seriously how grave our sin truly is, that it would demand the life of God’s Son, and to rejoice truly in his grace and willingness to suffer in our place. These are matters of eternal consequence; there is truly nothing more important, so it is right to get ready by internalizing the significance they represent.
We hope you’ll join us. You can pick up a Lent devotional at the church, or if needed we are happy to mail your household a copy. The readings are short and can be easily incorporated into daily Bible reading plans, meals, or as a part of family worship. As we read each day’s entry, we will be united in eagerly anticipating our time of celebration that God’s Son gave his life for ours, and afterward leads us into new and restored resurrection life.
Pastor Travis Vaclavik