What’s Lent got to do with it?

What’s Lent got to do with it?

Lent begins this Wednesday 5th March. You probably already knew that!

Typically, evangelical Christians are shy about Lent so it begs the question - should evangelicals care about Lent?

Yes we should care about it as long as we think right about it.

'Lent', from the Anglo-Saxon word for “Spring”, is a 46-day period of preparation and reflection in the build up to Easter Day.

According to the Book of Common Prayer, forty of those days are ‘fast days’ and the six Sundays are ‘feast days’, since every Sunday of the year recalls the joy of the resurrection of Jesus. In other words, Lent is certainly not a medieval Roman Catholic practice. It is part of our Reformation heritage, particularly in the Lutheran and Anglican traditions.

Of course, nothing is mandatory; Lent is no more than a tradition.

Yet, it's a noble tradition, one that reflects the New Testament assumption that Christians would occasionally fast, just as Old Testament believers did (Matthew 4:2, 6:16; Mark 2:20; Acts 13:2, 14:23). From the 2nd-century onwards, Christians have observed a period of fasting in the build up to Easter as an identification with the Lord’s suffering on our behalf.

It does not build spiritual muscles. 

It does not gain us favour with God.

It is simply a tangible expression that we follow the crucified Lord Jesus Christ.

If you’re not a follower of Jesus Christ at this time the best thing you can do starting March 5 2014 (or any time for that matter) is make some time to read the story of Jesus’ life and connect with your local church this Easter. You can read the gospel here – [add link]

As a follower of Jesus, how might you practice Lent this year?

You might choose to go without alcohol, chocolate, coffee, hot chocolate, Facebook, Twitter, technology or whatever. Or you might choose instead to add a sign of your connection and solidarity with Christ’s sacrifice, perhaps by giving $20 a week to an aid agency that you feel led to suppprt, reading more Scripture than usual, praying for our missionaries each day on rotation (prayer notes for March are available here).

The ideas are endless, but I believe the practice is really rewarding.

It focuses the mind and triggers the memory of Christ’s Passion just a little more than usual—and that has to be a good thing, right?

Whatever you decide, just remember to make Sundays in Lent different. The church calendar is designed to give us a weekly reminder of our celebration of the Living Lord. Make Sundays feast days!

Easter is coming so use Lent to prepare for the joy it brings us and the world!

Here is a good link to Lent

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