Always Be Preparing For Jesus, Not Just During Lent

Always Be Preparing For Jesus, Not Just During Lent February 19, 2024

Small wooden cross with a white cloth draped over it hung on wooden wall bearing the word "LENT" in the top righthand corner.
Lent offers a time for Christians to prepare for Easter [Picture courtesy of Unsplash.]
February 14th stood out as a big day on the 2024 calendar for more than one reason. Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday both occurred. The latter event served as this year’s start of Lent, the period when Christians prepare for celebrating Easter. But Christians should always be preparing for Jesus not just during Lent.

Preparation’s Meaning

Regardless of what someone prepares for, the idea remains the same. They put things or themselves in readiness. For example, a parent asks a child to set the table to get it ready for dinner. A student gets ready for a test by studying for it. These actions prepare the item or individual to meet the task or event ahead.

The Boy Scout Motto

Hearing the phrase “Be prepared” typically brings the Boy Scouts to mind.  The founder of the Boy Scouts, Robert Baden-Powell, chose “Be Prepared” for the organization’s motto.

With experience as an English soldier, Baden-Powell recognized the value of preparation. Unprepared soldiers can lose a battle or suffer injury or death. Someone once asked Baden-Powell an obvious question about the motto, “Prepared for what?” He humorously, but insightfully, answered, “Why, for any old thing.”

In 1907, Baden-Powell expressed his view of the motto’s meaning in Scouting for Boys.” He explained  being prepared meant “you are always in a state of readiness of mind and body to do your duty.” Bottom line? Scouting prepares boys to face life and whatever it throws at them.

Back view of two Boy Scouts standing by a stream full backpacks with their heads together.
Boy Scouts prepare for whatever they encounter [Picture courtesy of Pexels]

How Does Lent Relate To Preparation?

The Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at sundown on Holy Thursday. It covers a 40-day period during which Christians prepare to celebrate Easter, the religious holiday arising from Jesus’ resurrection and return to the living.

To help believers focus on Jesus’ sacrifice and its meaning, Lent involves pray, fasting, and spiritual discipline. Christians may also select to give up something. Things given up may range from consuming a favorite food or drink to engaging in pleasurable activities such as watching television or spending time on social media. Spending time in service to others is also encouraged. These “sacrifices” allow a deeper understanding of Jesus’ sacrifice, His very life. Believers can also focus less on what they want and more on what God wants for them, including showing love to others.

Lent provides a time for spiritual renewal as well. While fasting from food or refraining from engaging in a pleasurable activity, more time for Bible reading and study exists. Rather than feeding on physical nourishment or pleasure, a believer can feed on God’s word. As Jesus stated in Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

Lent’s Length and History

The 40-day length of Lent brings to mind  the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert. This time helped prepare Him for being tempted by the devil.

Rooted in Germanic, the word “Lent” refers to the spring or lengthening of days. What an appropriate name for a religious season which occurs as the days lengthen and spring approaches. It also hints at new life—that of vegetation and animals on Earth and new life through Christ’s resurrection.

Left hand outstretched with white sleeve at wrist, a nail mark in the wrist and in the hand, and a glow around the entire body part.
Easter celebrates Jesus’ return to life with His resurrection [Picture courtesy of Pixabay.]
Regular fasting for 40 days occurred in the early life of the church. By the fourth century, Christian churches commonly engaged in this practice. Some practices have, of course, changed over the centuries. But even today, Lent still serves as a time of spiritual discipline and deep reflection.

When Should Christians Prepare?

Preparing for Easter during Lent is a crucial step for a believer as the most important holiday on the Christian calendar approaches. But preparation for a future event also deserves attention. Jesus already returned from the dead, which believers celebrate at Easter. His second coming will be an even bigger event. Are they preparing for that momentous occasion too?

Why should they prepare? Jesus told them to. His Parable of the Ten Virgins recounted in Matthew 25:1-13 stresses the need to be ready. Half of the virgins stood prepared with oil for their lamp when the bridegroom unexpectedly arrived. The other half lacked the necessary oil supply.

Christians, as Jesus stated in verse 13 of the parable, should “keep watch.” And since no one knows the hour of His return, believers need to be preparing for Jesus all the time, not just at Lent.



About Alice H. Murray
After 35 years as a Florida adoption attorney, Alice H. Murray now pursues a different path as Operations Manager for End Game Press. With a passion for writing, she is constantly creating with words. Her work includes contributions to several Short And Sweet books, The Upper Room, Chicken Soup For The Soul, Abba’s Lessons (from CrossRiver Media), and the Northwest Florida Literary Review. Alice is a regular contributor to GO!, a quarterly Christian magazine in the Florida Panhandle, and she has three devotions a month published online by Dynamic Women in Missions. Her devotions have also appeared in compilation devotionals such as Ordinary People Extraordinary God (July 2023) and Guideposts’ Pray A Word A Day, Vol. 2 (June 2023) and pray a word for Hope (September 2023). Alice’s first book, The Secret of Chimneys, an annotated Agatha Christie mystery, was released in April 2023 with a second such book, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, to be released in April 2025. On a weekly basis, Alice posts on her blog about current events with a humorous point of view at You can read more about the author here.

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