Lent, the name of the 40 day season prior to Easter, derives from the Old English word, lencten, meaning “Springtime” (northern hemisphere), and before that from the Germanic longitinaz, meaning “lengthening of days”. It anticipates Easter, following upon Good Friday, and the victory of the light and life of Christ over the darkness of sin and death.

Within Christian truth, the realities behind Good Friday and Easter Day are never apart, but only and always fused inseparably together. We cannot know the greatness of the victory of Christ for the world, nor its unspeakable joy, revealed at Easter, without at once knowing the shocking depth and breadth of evil and of our sin, laid bare in the Crucifixion of Christ, from which He has saved us.

The truth of the fusion of Easter and Good Friday means that the joyful message of the Christian Gospel is never just religious, wishful thinking. It fully acknowledges the worst that the world can throw at us – the worst of evil and sin, and is victorious through and over it! This produces, as CS Lewis said, “the kind of happiness and wonder that makes you serious”.

I pray for you to have a seriously joyful Lenten season.

Grace and cheers, Jonathan.