The English word “Lent” is a shortened form of the Old English word lencten, meaning “lengthening” of days, or springtime. Originally this word had no spiritual meaning. During the Middle Ages (ca. 600-1500) individual congregations began to observe a 40 day fast in this spring season. The movement grew. Eventually, most of the Christian world would take time leading up to the three holiest days in the church calendar (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter) to seek Jesus first. Though some practices may have changed, Lent in the 21st century remains essentially the same as in centuries past: a time of quiet reflection and spiritual discipline. This year worldwide, more Christians will observe Lent than ever. Let us join this great cloud of witnesses in seeking first Jesus kingdom and Jesus righteousness (Matt 6:33).