Hey CCC Family! Lent begins this Wednesday, February 26th and our hope is to observe this time together as a church. Here’s how you can participate:
First, what is lent?
Lent is a unique 40-day period (excluding Sunday’s) in the Christian calendar where believers down through the ages and around the world have prepared themselves for the celebration of Christ’s resurrection. It begins every year 6 weeks before Easter Sunday, and this year it starts on Wednesday, February 26th.
Second, how can we observe lent?
Traditionally lent is a time of fasting, abstinence, and prayer as we prepare for Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Some people give up a specific food or drink. Others give up other things like social media or TV. The point of abstaining from something is not to go through a religious exercise (this is entirely voluntary) but to make room in our hearts and our minds for more of Jesus. Jesus himself went on a 40 day fast in the desert before he started his public ministry. While in the desert he was tempted by the Devil to turn rocks into bread. He responded by saying: “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4). This summarizes the purpose of lent very well. We are much more than our desires and our cravings. To practice abstinence in any form is to give our souls room to reach out to what it needs more than food and entertainment–communion with God. This unique time of fasting opens our souls to the greatest gift of all, the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Because lent is not only about abstaining, many people add something to their lives as well, especially a spiritual discipline or practice that will help them connect more with God. This could mean doing something unique each day to reflect on the cross and resurrection. One way we are hoping to observe lent together is to spend 10 minutes each day in guided prayer. The people from 24-7 prayer have released a great app that walks you through a daily Lectio Divina exercise. You can download the app here and each day we can pray together as a church family over the same scriptures and themes as we prepare for Easter: https://www.24-7prayer.com/dailydevotional.
More than anything, these 40 days leading up to Easter are a significant time to prepare our hearts for more of Jesus and more of his resurrection power in our lives, our city, and our world. Jesus is alive!