Over the last few months, our church calendar has led us to anticipate and prepare for the coming of our King during Advent, and then to celebrate his humble arrival during Christmas, and then finally to gaze at the light of Jesus’ kingdom ministry during Epiphany. But as each of the four accounts of the Gospel attest, something significant happens at some point during Jesus’ ministry when he begins to turn his face toward Jerusalem and the looming fate that awaits him there: “When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51). As the Gospel reveals, the path of life is through the cross.
This is the purpose of Lent: for us to enter into the cross-shaped life of Jesus by way of repentance, self- denial, and even suffering, knowing that these are the means by which the Spirit bears the fruit of the kingdom of God around us. Be sure to take advantage of every opportunity you can to observe this season of Lent. Along with our Lenten Pastorates, here are a few opportunities we encourage.