Celebrating Lent?

From the beginning Christians have used the calendar to remember the mighty acts of God and to be renewed in their faith and trust in him. Since ancient times lent has comprised the 40 days preceding Easter (beginning with Ash Wednesday). As spring is coming Christians turn from the longing of winter and look to Jesus and the new life he brings.

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The days of lent are to be spent in preparation for the redeeming work of Jesus at the cross and in welcoming the joy of the resurrection. Christians prepare in prayer and repentance. The purpose of lent is to deepen your hunger for God by seeing your own brokenness and seeking filling in Christ.

You may hear someone speak about “giving up” something for lent. Lenten practice in the beginning focused on fasting because physical hunger can reveal deep spiritual need. When you are hungry you know your weakness. So the goal is to increase your longing for Christ and his kingdom. Today someone might “give up” rich food or sweets for he same reason. The goal is not to gain anything from God but that you might yearn for Christ.

How can we benefit from lent today? First, be mindful of the calendar, that it was this time that Jesus turned his face toward Jerusalem to go to the cross for you. Second, use these days to read the gospel accounts of this time in the life of Jesus. (Matthew chs. 19-27, Mark chs. 10-15, Luke 13:31-23:56, and John 11-20.). This will help you focus on Jesus and walk with him as he approaches the cross. Third, commit yourself to prayer, longing for Jesus and his rule in your life. Lay anything aside during this time that can deepen your awareness of your need for him. (Note: We do not fast to gain anything from God, but because he has already loved us and we want to know our deep need of him.). “Giving up” anything for lent only has value to the extent that it aids your prayers by making clearer to you the depth of your need for grace. Finally, focus your attention forward during lent to the cross of Jesus and his resurrection.

May God bless you this Lenten season with his grace by renewing in you the joy of your salvation.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Sandy on February 10, 2017 at 1:33 am

    This would be a good reminder for our people each year, worthy of repeating.

    Reply

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