I thought we had Lent for all of 2020.

So. Ash Wednesday is on February 17. Three weeks away.

I’ve struggled to stop to write about Lent, to write the journal, to say, “How can I help my friends think about Jesus right now.” Which is hilarious, right? I’d think that I would be doing that all the time, that I would be all in with the process of looking for ways to connect what we know about Jesus with what we know about our lives. Our struggles, our challenges, our lack of connection.

But we’ve spent the last year uncertain about how to connect with Jesus. It felt like a whole year of Lent, of giving up things, people, activities, identity. The press coverage and conversations have been about whose side Jesus is on, about what church means, about why people should or shouldn’t stay connected.

I understand that struggle.

I’ve spent a lot of time shaking my head about ways that Jesus was invoked in conversations about wearing masks and structures and integrity of voting systems. I prayed with people before they died, with families afterward, and then had to listen to people saying things that I don’t want to walk back through.

I do not have the time to engage in the political and social and medical debates. And I’m guessing that it isn’t my place.

What I think I need to do is spend a season remembering some of the basic stories about Jesus. And because being a disciple is learning to live my life the way Jesus would live my life if he were me, I think we’ll make some of those connections.

I talked awhile back about creating a journal for Lent 2021 like the Advent 2020 journal. I was all in. But I would have had to complete it during December 2020, and that wasn’t realistic. So I’m choosing to write it here, at 300.

This journal is going to make us look at the story of Jesus. So we’ll look at the Bible. But it’s not going to be preachy.

A couple practical notes:

  • If you want to get this writing by email (if you don’t), please subscribe.
  • If you don’t have Lent for Non-Lent People, a book of Lenten readings I wrote several years ago, you probably would like it if you are here regularly. And I know of small groups and groups of friends and churches that have found it helpful. (You can read some comments here and here.)