Today’s Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.
What does Lent do?
The spare and sober nature of Lent is healthy for the heart and true to the gospel, scrubbing away frothy spirituality by calling us to say no to ourselves in order to experience a greater yes in Jesus. It helps to imprint the form of the cross in our lives, recognizing that the news of the risen Lord Jesus is not good without the way of the cross. Lent prepares us to experience the reality of resurrection joy only by first recognizing the depth of our sin that pinned Christ to the cross.
—Philip Reinders, Seeking God’s Face: Praying the Bible Through the Year (pp. 233-234).