A calendar can have redemptive significance. It organizes the year around the life of Christ. At TRC, we try to give special attention to two seasons: Advent and Lent. When people look at our calendar, we want it to preach Christ and a church that seeks to live a Christ-centered life.
What is Lent?
Lent is a a unique time of preparation and repentance as we anticipate the death and resurrection of Jesus. On the Christian calendar, Lent (from Latin, meaning “fortieth”) is the 40 days beginning on Ash Wednesday and leading up to Easter Sunday. (Sundays aren’t counted) Whatever you might think about popular practices, “Lent is first and foremost about the gospel making its way deeper into our lives,” Kendal Haug and Will Walker observe. (Taken from “Lent is About Jesus”)
How Can I Observe Lent?
Remember, the goal of Lent is Jesus-we want to fall deeper in love with Him and remember the incredible prize given to us in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. In our pursuit of Him, we can do two things: fast and feast. Some people fast from a certain food item they enjoy, entertainment, etc. The point is not simply to abstain from something as the end, but as a means, which brings us to the second thing: feast. Use this 40 day journey to feast on Christ. Use the extra time you have from not watching TV (if that is your fast) to read the Bible, spend deeper moments in prayer, etc. Use the money you saved from your commitment to not shop (if that is your fast) to donate to the poor and learn the heart of God for the less fortunate.
Some Loving Warnings
1. Do it in secret. You don’t need to tell everyone what you are fasting from. Further, you don’t need to ask everyone what they are fasting from. Make it between you and God. The goal, after all, is to get closer to Him. (If you want to share with a few friends for the sake of accountability, that’s OK, of course).
2. We observe Lent because we love Jesus. We observe Lent (as we do all things) not to get Christ to like us more, to be more acceptable, or to appear/feel more holy. In other words, we don’t do any of these things for God’s approval. Rather, because we are already approved as those in union with Christ, we observe Lent as a means to journey toward Easter, that wonderful day when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
3. Observing Lent is not a mandatory thing. However, given the background of Lent and the meaning of Lent, it could prove to be an incredibly blessing time. We simply want all of us to receive more grace from Jesus.
Please find below three very helpful articles/free devotionals for the Lenten season. We will also periodically make more resources available to the church.
Why Bother with Lent? Whatever the popular conceptions, the season of Lent can encourage gospel-centered piety… Read more about “Why Bother with Lent”
A Holy Experience. Why doing Lent this year is what you really need (and a free family Lent & Devotional) … Get it here.
Lent or No Lent, Life is War. Lent or no Lent, not doing some things you feel like doing is the daily pattern for the disciples of Jesus… Read more about “Lent or No Lent, Life is War”