An Invitation to Lent
Open Your Bible
Genesis 1:27, Genesis 3:1-13, Ezekiel 36:26, Hosea 14:2, 4, Zephaniah 3:17, John 3:16-17, Romans 5:1-2, Romans 8:20-21, Ephesians 2:1-10
What Is Lent?
For more than a thousand years, Christians around the world have observed the Lenten season with the sober acknowledgement that with humanity came sin; and with sin, came death. As contemporary believers, we are invited—though not required—to do the same.
Scripture tells us that we were made to know God and live in His perfect presence. God formed us from the dust of the earth, declared us to be good, and gave us the honor of bearing His image (Gn 1:27). But in sin, we rebelled against God (Genesis 3:1–7). And generations later, we continue to turn away from Him. We fail to obey and fail to seek after Him with our whole hearts. This sin affects not only our own relationship with God, but our relationships with one another and with all of creation—everything is subject to the death, decay, and frustration that comes from sin (Romans 8:20–21).
But God does not leave us in this state. The entire story of Scripture is that of a saving God—one who pursues His people, even after the initial sin in the garden. He invites us to return to Him, to be made new and be part of making all things new (Hosea 14:2,4–7; Zephaniah 3:17). This redemptive story culminated in God coming to earth in the flesh to meet our great need for salvation. Jesus Christ, God the Son, came to deliver us from sin and restore peace and order through His life, death, and resurrection (John 3:16–17, Romans 5:1–2).
We are saved by grace through faith, restored to God forever through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross (Ephesians 2:1–10). Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, we are invited to play a role in God’s redemptive work in the world as we await the day all creation will be perfectly restored.
Lent is a long, slow season. From Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday, we reflect on our desperate need for salvation before celebrating the miraculous, undeserved gift of Easter Sunday. We remember our need for forgiveness in order to truly rejoice in the unmatched, indescribable way our loving and merciful God meets that need.
Why Read Ezekiel for Lent?
The Lenten rhythm of repentance and remembrance is reflected in the story of Ezekiel. In walking through the book of Ezekiel over six weeks, we immerse ourselves in a story of holy judgment, merciful restoration, ever-present hope, and the promise of salvation.
Ezekiel’s original audience was a people in peril. They had been taken from their homes into exile in a foreign nation. Their leadership was corrupt, their hearts and worship were directed toward false gods, and their lives were seemingly without hope.
In speech after speech and display after display, the book of Ezekiel portrays the grim reality of sin, using graphic metaphors to grab the attention of both the original audience and readers today. These portrayals are an invitation to wake up to the reality of sin: it is destructive, an evil affront to all that is good and how everything was created to be.
As we read Ezekiel together, notice how deeply sin grieves God, and how deeply sin breaks community and relationship. Take time to acknowledge, lament, and confess your own sin. And do so remembering the completed work of Jesus Christ on your behalf, knowing how this story ends in everlasting life for all those who follow Him.
Ezekiel offers an invitation for us to look into our own hearts, to see what we worship and who we become when left to our own devices. It also points toward the redemption God desires for us, a consistent call to return to abundant life in Him.
Ezekiel reminds us that salvation from God alone is our hope, as the season of Lent and Easter declare that our ultimate hope—Jesus Christ—has already come.