The following was originally a post by Jordan over at the All Saints' Center for Theology...
Lent is a hallowed breath taken before shouts of adoration—the Church’s magnificent, collective inhalation.
Lent is a wound, a thorn in the side of the gods-of-our-own-making, an interruption in the ebb and flow of our most revered secular liturgies.
Lent is the imposition of ashes, a chorus of dust and dry bones, an invitation for living breath. It is an upturned vessel, an empty urn, an invitation for living water.
Lent is a voice crying in the wilderness, a shaking and steadfast finger pointing ever in the direction of Golgotha.
Lent is submission to the weight of costly discipleship, liberation from the cost of self-indulged freedom.
Lent is an interlude, a darkness preceding the terrible brightness.
Lent is nothing -- worse than nothing, the clatter and clamor of proud religiosity, the futile wailing of a misanthropic martyr -- if not for the one whose destruction and subsequent vindication bid the foe become beloved.
Lent is an affirmation and an invitation. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy: Come let us adore him.