With one of those liturgical seasons coming to a close and with a big Sunday on the horizon — we’re not talking Super Bowl but chocolate bunnies — a passing comment on the time of the year known as Lent may be in order. Peter Leithart has been blogging about it, which may indicate that his church in Moscow, Idaho is following the church calendar (what would John Piper say to Doug Wilson?). Today (or yesterday), Leithart aggregated a number of tweets about the benefits of Lent. Here is a sampling:
We’re hungry for all the wrong things. We need Lent to develop a taste for the fruit of the tree of life – that is, the fruit of the cross.
An exercise in delayed gratification, Lent is profoundly counter-cultural.
Lent gives the only answer there is to the problem of evil: A cross that triumphs over evil, a death that tramples death.
Lent tells us what time it is – the time between resurrection and resurrection.
Lent reminds us that Jesus didn’t go to the cross so we can escape the cross; He went to the cross to enable us to bear it after Him.
Lent gives us 40 days to contemplate the glory of the Crucified, which saves the world.
Aside from whether or not these statements are true, if they are, why wouldn’t Christians want to reflect on or practice these things the whole year? Is it really possible to take 315 days off from considering that we live between the resurrection and resurrection? Or do we want to spend only forty days contemplating the glory of the Christ crucified?
Two-kingdom advocates frequently receive the criticism that we are limiting Christianity to Sundays, that we are telling people they can be “worldly” during the weekdays as long as they are holy on Sunday. That is a severe misrepresentation of 2k. But even if it were true, we at least devote 52 days, 12 more than the church calendar followers, to being profoundly cultural. Why don’t we get any credit for that?