The season of Lent is the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, minus Sundays. The 40 days mirror Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness at the beginning of his ministry where he fasted, prayed, and triumphed over the temptations of Satan.
During the season of Lent, we are invited to remember and focus on Christ’s life, ministry, sacrifice, and resurrection. Lent is a season where we intentionally prepare our hearts and minds and our lives to observe and celebrate the events of Holy Week. Our preparation during Lent is traditionally a time for introspection, prayer, and repentance.
Lent is a time to look at our humanity with Jesus, to see our humanness through the lens of our Triune God, to know both its reality and His redemption.
It is a time to acknowledge our sinfulness and our need for a Savior.
It is a time to invite God to search us and know us; a time to seek Him and know Him.
It is a time to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith - Jesus, both human and divine.
“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.” ― N.T. Wright
To engage in this season of Lent, you might consider giving up something for Lent. Maybe you give up chocolate or Wednesday lunches or maybe it’s social media on Mondays you choose to fast and use that time to focus on Jesus instead.
Or you might consider adding something during Lent. You may decide to more faithfully pray for people in your life, walk a certain amount of time or distance each day, or more intentionally read through the gospels. You could engage in a new soul-training exercise.
The options are endless and personal, and these practices, by themselves, can do nothing. The purpose of choosing something to give up or add during Lent is making intentional space to connect with God and allowing Him to work in and through you. We encourage you to take some time and prayerfully ask God how He is inviting you to observe Lent this year.
If you would like to receive some guidance or encouragement during your observing of Lent, we invite you to sign up for daily Lenten texts on your phone where we’ll offer you a prayer, a passage to reflect on, or some other suggestion to help you more intentionally observe the season of Lent. You’ll receive texts each weekday through Easter. Simply text @lentecc to the number 81010 to enroll. (You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org to request these prompts if you prefer to receive them via email.)
As we fix our eyes on Jesus during this sacred season of Lent, may we grow to know Him better, may He grow us to be more like Him, and may we look at our humanness with eyes of hope, knowing that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus enable us to live purposefully and abundantly in the Kingdom, here, now, and forever.