Lent is a season for taking stock and cleaning house, a time of self-examination, confession and repentance. But we need to remind ourselves constantly what true repentance looks like. “Giving up” something for Lent is fine, but you keep Lent best by making war on all the evil habits and sinful desires that prevent you from running the race with patience.
Lent is a season for joy also because it is a motif in a larger composition. The rhythm of the church year follows the rhythm of the Lord’s day service. Each week, we pass through a small “Lenten” moment in our liturgy, as we kneel for confession. But we don’t kneel through the whole service, and in the same way we don’t observe the fast forever.