The origins of Lent are connected to the early church’s preparation of candidates for baptism. Ash Wednesday wasn’t normally a part of Lent, it only became so as Lent took on a more penitent feel. The word Lent comes from the early English word meaning to “lengthen.” Lent comes at a time when spring is approaching and the daylight hours are getting longer. It’s a time we too can ‘lengthen’ spiritually, stretching ourselves to connect more fully with each other and the Spirit of God.
Because the season lasts 40 days, we’re given ample time to get in touch with the person God created us to be through our baptisms. God gives us incarnational identity from the start--as in, we’re all born to do good works. We’re all born to serve a purpose. Life is more than just a flesh and bones concept. Rather, God gives us personality and a spirit. God gives us courage and determination. God works in and through us for the sake of God’s kingdom come, calling us into God’s vision to redeem and save the world.