What is Lent?

Lent is a time of preparation before Easter.  The preparation is of a spiritual nature and includes practices of prayer, fasting, and reflection on the Bible.  Lent has been practiced by the Church since about 300 A.D.   It isn’t new and it isn’t exclusively a Roman Catholic practice.

 

When is Lent?

Not counting Sundays, Lent takes place the 40 days before Easter.  For 2020, Lent begins on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 

 

Is Lent Biblical?

If you mean, “where in the Bible am I directed to practice Lent,” then the answer is no.

But, if you mean, “is the practice of Lent founded on Biblical principles,” the answer is yes.

The main practices of Lent from ancient times have included:

  1. Reflection on the significance of Jesus’ death through prayer and Scripture
  2. Fasting as a means to focus more wholly on God
  3. Giving to assist the needy

 

These practices, like any spiritual disciplines, do not make us acceptable to God.  We are acceptable to Him only though coming to Him on the basis on Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins (Ephesians 2:8.9).  Spiritual disciplines are the means through which God works in our lives helping us to grow to spiritual maturity- becoming more like Jesus.

Lent:  None must.  All can.  Some should.

 

How to practice Lent:

  1.   Fast:  Give up something of significance for God for the 40 days until Easter. 

Let that sacrifice daily remind you of the sacrifice Jesus made for you as He died on the Cross. Suggestions may include (but are not limited to):  food, caffeine, TV, media, eating out…

Giving up a ‘sin’ misses the point as does fasting from something that has little significance in our life.

 

 

  1. Prayer and Meditation.

Read the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion.  Reflect on His suffering, what He gave up, and how that showed His great love.  Perhaps journal out your insights.  Use the Lent Meditations, available on the info table, as a starting point.

 

  1. Works of Love:  Assisting those in need

Consider ways that you can help the needy through the next 40 days.  Perhaps, just as you do a spiritual housecleaning, you may do a domestic housecleaning and pass on gently used clothing, household items, and food bank supplies.  Bring in the collected items and put them in the Donation Station.   We’ll pass them on to our partnering front line food and clothing banks.

 

This year, we’re receiving Granola Bars for Why Not Youth centre, with a goal of 1000 bars!