In Lent the church retraces Jesus’ 40 day season of temptation and testing in the wilderness (Mark 1:12-13). Lent is a time for fresh decision-making. It’s a season in which we examine our lives with the prayer, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me” (Psalm 139:23-24). It’s a time to turn from ways of living that draw us away from Christ and leave us weary, unsatisfied, less-than-human. Such decision-making is commonly called “repentance.”
Lent is also a time to reflect on the way in which God gives new life. We are invited to follow Jesus in obedience. As we experience Christ’s setting-us-right love, we are empowered to share Christ’s setting-things-right love with the world.
Since Sundays are always celebrations of the Resurrection they are not counted as part of Lent’s 40 days. The liturgical colour is purple, signifying pain and suffering, which bring grief and penitence, and ultimately new life in Christ. Purple is also a colour of royalty, signifying that Jesus is our Messiah, literally our King.