The season of Lent is one of the two most known seasons of the Church (liturgical) year. Whereas Advent leads up to the birth of Christ, Lent marks the final days of Jesus’ life and ministry. The season lasts for forty days, from Ash Wednesday until Holy Saturday (the day before Easter) excluding Sundays.
Lent is known for visual or conspicuous expressions of penitence, humility, or sorrow. This is because of the association made between the crucifixion of Christ and human sinfulness. One example of such expression is the placing of ashes on the foreheads of believers on Ash Wednesday. Throughout the time of Lent, sacrificial choices are emphasized. Such choices may include dietary changes (temporary or permanent), giving to the poor, or relinquishing personal luxuries. With the coming of Easter, which is technically beyond Lent, there is a shift from remorse to joy. Jesus, who died for our sins, is triumphant over sin. God’s people are granted a reprieve and a new covenant. Easter is as colorful and full of life as the Lenten season is careful to avoid such celebratory signs.
The writer of the 2015 Lenten resource is the Rev. Dr. Beth Rupe. She is Senior Minister at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Moline, Ill. She has served congregations in Kentucky while attending Lexington Theological Seminary and in Illinois. Prior to going to seminary, Beth was an Outpatient Therapist at a community mental health center. She received a Bachelor of Science with honors in Psychology from Western Illinois University (1988) and a Master of Science in Clinical/ Community Mental Health Psychology from Western Illinois University (1990). Beth received her Master of Divinity from Lexington Theological Seminary (2002). She was ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) by the Christian Church in Illinois/Wisconsin (CCIW). She received her Doctor of Ministy from Lexington Theological Seminary (2014). Her doctoral project was on reclaiming a model of biblical lament in contemporary worship in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).