Pausing on the Road to Jerusalem – A Lenten Study



next page April 9:  The Place of Wealth April 16:  The Significance of Palm Sunday

As a Lenten study, Pausing on the Road to Jerusalem ends with anticipating, indeed aching for, Easter Sunday.

But Easter is another story and another study, albeit one that casts its light back over the preceding Lenten dim.  The scriptural passages selected explore the great themes of Lent.  Most of the Gospel readings are from Luke’s Gospel, enriched, as is often the case in Lent, by several from John’s Gospel.  The great Lenten themes found in this study include:  Temptation, Atonement–Why the Cross?; Theodicy–Why do good people suffer?; The place of wealth, and; The significance of Palm Sunday.

Neither Lent nor Advent is exactly “biblical,” of course. But the days they each await–Easter and Christmas–recall events central to the story of Jesus in the Gospels. Over the centuries, Christians have found it helpful to prepare for the keeping of these two central biblical feasts of the Christian year with seasons that offer a shared discipline to ready our hearts and minds to celebrate our Savior’s birth or resurrection.

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“…a time set aside for making sacrifices…for rigorous self-examination, for honest confession.”
Lent, and originally Advent as well, has long been essentially penitential, that is, a time set aside for making sacrifices, for “giving things up for Lent,” for rigorous self-examination, for honest confession. In recent years, however, many Christian have focused their Lenten preparation more on study and prayer. Nevertheless, such study and prayer occurs even as Jesus is on the way to Jerusalem, where he will meet betrayal and death.

So, the very act of study in Lent is Lenten ; it cannot escape the shadow of the cross and invites us to engage the ancient Lenten themes of sacrifice, self-examination, and confession.

We hope to see YOU on Wednesday nights this Lenten season as we journey together.