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Sheri Wohlfert explains why Lent shouldn't be a sad experience.

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy! (Psalm 126:2, NIRV)


Happy Lent!  Now that wasn’t what you were expecting to read, was it!  Lent and happy don’t usually go in the same sentence for most folks.  We tend to look at Lent as a season of discipline, denial, repentance and sacrifice; none of those being very pleasant thoughts. Maybe we need to look at Lent with a new perspective.  
Each Tuesday in my classroom was Tuesday Tune Day. The songs I picked were meant to teach a lesson. I picked all kinds of music: Christian, secular, rap, country—you name it, it could be a Tuesday Tune.  After we listened and watched the song on YouTube, the students would pick it apart finding words and meanings that draw us closer to the Father.  Sometimes we listen to the song as if we are singing it to Jesus or sometimes as if He’s singing it to us.  I’m often very amazed at the meanings they draw from a simple song. 

In preparation for Lent, I once picked a really unique song.  The song was a clip from the movie Sister Act 2.  It was the scene where Jamal and the choir sang "O Happy Day." The beginning of the song is so hesitant, and it seems like the characters are being forced into the performance and they have no enthusiasm or energy—only blah and un-invested participation. 

As the song goes on, however, they pick up momentum and end the song with excitement, electricity, and joyfulness.  I asked the kids to compare their performance to Lent and they were full of ideas.  The whole purpose of Lent is to draw nearer to Jesus—isn’t that sort of a happy, joyful thing? Hence the song "O Happy Day," because Lent leads us on a 40-day journey to an amazing place: the Pascal Mystery; the Passion, death, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus. 


Every act of sacrifice we make during Lent can be thought of as a gentle kiss on the cheek of the Savior we love. We aren’t expected to take the torture; He already did that for us. He is simply asking us to remove those things that separate us from Him. I thought as we began to think of Lent as a time of joyful preparation, I’d offer just a few new things to “give up” during Lent. Pope Francis once tweeted: “Don’t give up booze, chocolate and carbs again, do something merciful and powerful!” So per his instruction, give these a try and … Happy Lent! 

  • Give away one thing each day of Lent (clothes, appliances, toys, books, and so on).
  • Give up the snooze button … go ahead and get up and use those 5 or 10 minutes to read the Gospels a little bit at a time.
  • Give up being right and first … let others talk more, take a backseat or parking spot near the back of the lot.
  • Give up some precious time … babysit someone else’s kids for free.
  • Give up gossip, judging, complaining, and frequently sharing your opinion.
  • Give away flowers each week to someone who needs a boost.
  • Give up a little hot water in your shower.
  • Give some time to an elderly or lonely person: go for a visit and share a cup of coffee and pray together.
  • Give up some texting and trade it for real phone conversation and end the chat with “God bless you.” 


Click to tweet:
The whole purpose of Lent is to draw nearer to Jesus—isn’t that sort of a happy, joyful thing?

A Seed To Plant:  

Go ahead … just try one of the things from the list. For a little extra Lenten joy, pick the one you think is hardest and start there—just DO Lent joyfully and Easter will be amazing. Watch the video of "Oh Happy Day" to get yourself started! 
Blessings on your day! 



Copyright 2024 Sheri Wohlfert
Images: Canva