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  • Writer's pictureBronwyn Lea

What is Lent and What does it mean for Me?

This week marks the beginning of Lent on the church calendar. If you’re curious about what that means for you (and for us as a church) in your journey with Jesus, here’s a beginner’s guide to the what, why, and how of this ancient Christian rhythm.

 

What is Lent?

 

Lent is the 40 days (not including Sundays) before Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday (this year, it was February 14th), and goes through Good Friday (March 29th), when we remember Jesus’ crucifixion. Lent finishes with Easter Sunday (March 31st), when we celebrate Jesus being raised to life again. 

 

Why is Lent observed?

 

Modeled on Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness, Christians have observed Lent as a time for personal confession, reflection, and meditation leading up to the joy of Easter. We remember our own mortality and sin, and how Jesus’ death and resurrection reflects and redeems that.

 

How do Christians Observe Lent?

 

Over the centuries, Christians have had various worship services and personal practices designed to help us clarify our beliefs and live into the tension of the pain of our sin-soaked selves in a sin-soaked world, and the hope held out by Jesus’ resurrection.

 

Some of these practices are done together, like Ash Wednesday and Good Friday services; while others are more personal , like following a devotional, or the habit of “giving up something for Lent”. Usually this means fasting from something you really love (like chocolate!) and, in feeling its absence, we’re reminded of our dependence and mortality. We’re reminded that “something good is missing in this world”. Then, on Easter Sunday when you tuck into those traditional chocolate easter eggs, it’s a “taste” of the joy of resurrection.

 

How can we make the most of Lent?

 

Observing Lent is not something Jesus spoke about. There are no Biblical guidelines or sacraments we’re required to follow: we have freedom in this! But, it is a rhythm that Christians over the centuries and all across the world have found to be meaningful. So we invite you to consider which of the following might be spiritually enriching for you (and put some dates and alerts on your calendar):

 

Wednesday Prayer Meetings from 12pm-12:30pm on Zoom. This is our weekly church prayer meeting: perhaps you might like to join in during Lent? Click here for more information.

 

Good Friday Blood Drive: Friday March 29th, 1-5pm in the FBC Fellowship Hall. We’ll host our third annual blood drive in partnership with Vitalant on Good Friday. It is both a reflective time for us to remember Jesus’ life-saving blood given for us, as well as a profound way to serve a huge need in our community. Of all people, Christians believe that blood saves lives :) Look out for the link to sign up soon.  

 

Good Friday Service: Friday March 29th, 7pm at FBC. Join us for a communion service to remember Jesus’ crucifixion and burial.

 

Easter Sunday Service : Sunday March 31st at FBC: Bring a flower for the courtyard flower cross and join us for brunch and a celebratory Worship Service: He is Risen!

 

Personal Devotional Options to Consider During Lent : Consider whether one of the following might suit your preferences and practices during this season:

 

 

However you choose to observe Lent (or not), remember that the goal of Lent isn’t to better your life, but to center your life on what matters most: the One who made you and died for you. If you’d like to talk more about any of these ideas, please reach out to one of the Pastors. We want to be pursuing God together with you in this season.

 

Yours in hope,

Pastor Bronwyn

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