Lent – Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday. Today marks the 40-day Christian season of Lent. A time of introspection, confession, repentance, prayer, and fasting that prepares us for Holy Week and Resurrection Sunday.

I was raised with off and on attendance in a small, country United Methodist church that followed the liturgical calendar, although—at the time—I didn’t know what that meant. My faith and my military career then took me to many places and many churches—mostly evangelical. However, the past half dozen or so years have opened my heart and curiosity to new ways to understand our God, faith traditions, scriptures, and Jesus.

In all these things, my desire is to love God more, with all my heart, soul, and strength. The Lenten season provides us the opportunity to do so. Whether you’ve had a life time of observing Lent, if you’ve left it behind and want to pick it up again, if this is your first time considering it, or if you know nothing about it,  there are many resources to help us along this journey of exploration and understanding.

This year I’m reading Lent: The Season of Repentance and Renewal by Esau McCaulley, part of IVP’s Fullness of Time series. McCaulley describes Ash Wednesday (and Lent) to be a call “to remember our first love, the pursuit of holiness that may have marked the first years of our journey with God.” At only 98 pages, it’s proving to be insightful, personable, and accessible.

Many liturgical churches provide online resources for the seasons we observe and celebrate on the church calendar. The United Methodist church is one of which I’m familiar and they have a great article on different ways to observe Lent, 40 Days of Lent: Find your own spiritual path by Joe Iovino.

A friend shared with me an article from Christianity.com that gives a bit of background and insight into the season, What Is Ash Wednesday? 2023 Guide for Christians Celebrating by Kelly Givens.

Wherever  your faith is at, and however you walk it out, may the rhythms, seasons, and celebrations of faith enrich and expand your life and draw you closer to the Creator, Shepherd, Messiah, Savior—Jesus.

Grace & Peace

If you’d like some insider information on the seventh book this year in the Be Still series, what might be next after Be Still, as well as exclusives on my fictional works projects, then hop on over to my author website and sign up for my email newsletter: The Road Less Traveled. You won’t want to miss it.

Note: Wikipedia defines the liturgical calendar, also called the liturgical year, church year or Christian year, as “the cycle of liturgical seasons in Christian churches that determines when feast days, including celebrations of saints, are to be observed, and which portions of Scripture are to be read either in an annual cycle or in a cycle of several years.”




About Jill English Johnston

God writes His story on every heart, if we only pause to read it. My heart has lived in a fantasy world since early childhood and am delighted that God has finally brought me to the place where I can bring the fantasies to life through story. I am currently working on a fantasy trilogy (of course) but I also post thoughts, reflections and (hopefully) inspiration to my website: tabletsofhumanhearts.wordpress.com I am a follower of the Rabbi Jesus, married to my best friend and inspiration, and the mother of three incredible children, one daughter and two sons, a son-in-love, a daughter-in-love and two adorable granddaughters. When not writing, I passionately pursue prayer, reading (never enough time to read them all!), and the outdoors. My husband and I both served in the US Navy and have lived/travelled through many states and all over Asia. We both still enjoy travelling, but we really love our home in New Braunfels, located at the Texas Hill Country.
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