What is Lent and How Can It Help Your Walk with Jesus?
The season of Lent begins today with Ash Wednesday. Lent is the 40 day period (excluding Sundays) before Easter each year that Christians have historically set apart as a time for deep and consistent reflection on the cross, in preparation for the celebration of Good Friday and Easter. You may or may not be familiar with Lent, depending on your background as a follower of Jesus. For example, in the tradition I grew up in, I never heard the word “Lent” used in my church experience. Marianne, on the other hand, observed Lent as a regular part of her spiritual life in the tradition she grew up in. At Christ Church, we have no official “stance” on Lent, nor do we prescribe any church-wide observance of the Season. However, the season can be used by Christians as a period of consistent repentance, growth, and reflection on the way of Jesus. Lent can also be a period of time in which you pray for and serve the needy and marginalized around you in solidarity with them. In a way, we are denying ourselves and resisting our unceasing cravings by devoting ourselves to the poor. I would encourage you to devote yourself this Lenten season to contemplation on the call of Jesus to take up our cross. He writes, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). If you have never observed Lent before, might I encourage you to use one of the following guides as a devotional resource during this season? N.T. Wright says, “Lent is a time for discipline, for confession, for honesty, not because God is mean or fault-finding or finger-pointing but because he wants us to know the joy of being cleaned out, ready for all the good things he now has in store.”
Here are three resources to choose from to guide you devotionally through Lent:
The Repentance Project: An American Lent - chiefly concerned with addressing racial injustice