Lent is a special time of preparation for the Christian that begins on Ash Wednesday and comes to its climax on Easter Sunday. The word “lent” means forty and it entails the forty days prior to Easter excluding Sunday. The number forty was chosen since Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness preparing for his public ministry. Sundays are excluded since Sundays are considered times of celebration, while the other days during Lent are considered solemn and reflective.
During the Lenten season, a Christian chooses to practice a particular behavior that is personally meaningful. The purpose of this particular behavior is to shape the heart of the believer to be in greater conformity to the likeness of Christ. Commonly, a Christian will choose to abstain from a pleasurable activity or take on a sacrificial activity. For example, a Christian may choose to abstain from eating meat or eating sweets for one day per week or for the full forty days. Some Christians will choose to fast one day a week or fast the full forty days. Others will choose to abstain from television, social media, alcohol, or non-essential shopping. On the other hand, some will choose a sacrificial activity such as working once a week at a soup kitchen, tutoring a child, or cleaning the home of an elderly person. As long as the behavior is personally meaningful and shapes our hearts into the likeness of Christ, then the behavior will fulfill its intended purpose.
After prayerful consideration, choose a behavior that would be meaningful to you. It could be helpful if you informed your spouse or good friend of your decision so that this person could pray for you during the Lent season. On the Sunday that follows Easter, time will be given in the church service to share how the Lenten season was meaningful to you.
This Lent, I choose to do:
Also, there is a Lenten Devotional that can be used for your personal time with the Lord during Lent. Hard copies are available at Mt Olive church, or the devotional can be found below. The devotional is entitled “Time to Face the Cross” and it follows Luke’s description of all Jesus taught and did once he made the sacrificial decision to go to Jerusalem and face the cross.