I’ve got another installment of Worth a Listen: Music I’m Loving Right Now for you today. Last time we talked about everyone’s current favorite soundtrack, and today I have new music from one of my favorite songwriters…
Today is the first day of Lent.
I don’t know about you, but I did not grow up with a positive perception of Lent. My church did not practice Lent, so my primary exposure was from friends who attended other churches. Every spring it seemed like a competition to see who could give up the most dramatic thing…bonus points if it had to do with food or television.
Then it was all about the complaining, outdoing one another with tales of surviving horrid deprivation.
It all culminated, of course, in the stuffing of faces and endless TV watching after Easter.
I didn’t get it.
I factored Lent completely out of my life for many years, having no understanding of the rich tradition from which it came. I certainly had no idea of the potential for meaningful spiritual engagement that could come from this historic practice.
A few years ago I started to explore the idea of practicing Lent, inspired by some friends who had a very compelling and rich understanding of this Church tradition. I began to realize the value in paring back your life in some way in an effort to truly feel your need of Christ.
The truth is — especially for those of us in wealthy, first world countries — we don’t feel true lack very often. We hardly even know what hunger feels like, since food is plentiful and available all the time (says the teacher with generous parents who are constantly filling the break room with delicious carbs). If you are fortunate to have the time, margin, internet connection, and desire to read content like this, I am guessing you pretty much have your basic needs met. You probably aren’t hungry or homeless.
The way I view it now, the Lenten season affords us an opportunity to feel our need of Christ. I love this verse from Come Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy:
Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him.
I now see Lent as a tangible way to physically manifest an understanding of my need of the Lord. Not to focus on the deprivation itself, but to focus on the Great Provider. Lent isn’t about white-knuckling your way through giving up bread or Facebook. Lent is about feeling your need for Christ. And when you feel that twitch for sugar or an Instagram scroll (or whatever your drug of choice), you enter into a sacred moment: a moment to turn your face to Christ and feel your need of Him.
And you remember that it is there — standing before the Lord, in need of Him — where your needs are truly met.
I love the music of Andrew Peterson, and this year he is releasing a compelling pair of projects, beginning with the music I am including today. (You can read all about the project here.) Resurrection Letters: Prologue is unique because it focuses solely on the death of Christ, from his last words on the cross to his internment in the tomb.
Peterson’s second release will release right before Easter, just in time to celebrate the resurrection. But the Lenten season is the time of the not yet. This music is for the not yet.
The waiting season.
The resurrection will come, but for now we grieve the cost of the cross.
And we feel our need of Him.
Disclosure: this post is not sponsored in any way; I am a true fan of this music and want you to know about it. I do use affiliate links, which means if you purchase something I link to, I make a small commission. It helps to cover the costs of running this website. Thanks for your support!