Lent is the 40-day period of preparation and examination before Easter.
Lent allows us the time and space to come to terms with the residual brokenness that, despite our best efforts at being good, persists in us. This process is needful because Easter is not an exercise in positive thinking – it is the announcement of the availability of True Life in Christ, resurrection life.
And resurrection is only good news to those who have learned to admit and embrace the fact that they are dead. Not mostly dead, but stone cold dead. Dead means there can be no recovery. In death, there is only the illogical hope for the gift of new life, rather than a resuscitation of the old life.
Only where there are graves is there resurrection, after all.
Because resurrection life is a gift that must be received and appropriated, Lent is the opportunity to expose those areas of our life where we most need raising – where we continue to settle for cheap substitutes for True Life or continue to persist in the illusion that we heal brokenness in our own power.