The kingdom of God does not come with signs to be observed or with visible display, nor will people say, Look! Here! or, See there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you and among you. – Luke 17:20-21
I missed Palm Sunday this year, and ironically only realized it was Ash Wednesday the other week on account of a great post by a friend of mine who also identifies as an Atheist. This is one of the things that happens when you’re a Christian (though I think some people would contest that self-identification, and sometimes I do as well) but you’re no longer – for all intents and purposes – a churchgoer, when you respect and even enjoy the measured meditativeness of the liturgical calendar but don’t have the practical aspect of it to mark the days.
So, Lent. I like Lent. I realize that I may be a rarity there, given that I don’t especially relish feelings of guilt (I have them, I just really don’t enjoy them). Nor do I enjoy self-deprivation. I’m also pretty bad at it. I also think these things are, by and large, a tremendous waste of time, to the degree that they’re motivated by any extended meditation on just what an incredibly awful person you are. So you’d think that I’d be counted out of most of the things that define the season for most religious people who care about the season at all. But I like Lent. I like Lent because of what I’ve picked out of it, held onto.
Lent is really about waiting.