A letter from pastor daniel
What is Lent?
The tradition of Lent began in the 3rd and 4th centuries of the early church, as of a period of 40 days (a season) of preparation and repentance in anticipation of Jesus Christ on Easter Day. The word lent comes from the Latin word meaning “dawning of the sun.” This practice of the early church was born out of the biblical narrative of Israel wandering in the wilderness for 40 years and Jesus being tempted in the wilderness for 40 days. The church likewise adopted 40 days as a time of preparation for Easter’s “dawning of the sun”—Jesus Christ’s triumphal resurrection from death, when God’s light of the world triumphed and dawned upon all of the brokenness and darkness of His creation.
Lent is a season for the church to reflect and examine the darkness that lies within our own hearts and the darkness of our world. It is a season of repentance and a cry for God to restore and redeem. We do all of this with an eye and heart anticipating Easter Day, when a crucified Messiah would powerfully resurrect and usher in His redemption. Lent is a time to enter into mourning—to ask God to help us see our own frailty and brokenness, to help us mourn for our neighbors, this city, and our world, and crying out for deep personal and corporate repentance
If you grew up in a church tradition it is a possibility you grew up with one of two postures towards Lent:
1. Observed Lent every year. Perhaps you observed just because you were supposed to, and Lent became perfunctory and lost it’s potency.
2. Never observed lent. Perhaps you grew up in a tradition that didn’t observe any of the church calendar/seasons because the church felt like every day was suppose to be lived in light of the whole gospel story (i.e. Christmas and Easter).
Personally, I have spent time in both traditions, and have come to a place where I am extremely grateful for times and seasons of focus and preparation of the gospel story, all while praying that our rhythms never become route and lose the potency of the gospel.
How we will celebrate Lent this year?
Lent begins on Wednesday, March 1st, which is Ash Wednesday. The beginning of this season of mourning and repentance is often marked by the imposition of ashes on the forehead to remind us of the frailty and brokenness of our world, the mourning we enter into, and the hope that we have because Christ took on our mortality and was raised from ashes, so that we might share in His resurrection life.
for additional reading:
Check out a great article on keeping Holy Lent from a good friend of mine, Craig Higgins by clicking below: