The original purpose of fasting and abstaining was to draw people to repentance of sins and remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross to atone for those sins. When we use these traditions to draw us closer to God, they can become more than religious routines; they can spur spiritual transformation motivated by the Gospel.
Whether you give up something for Lent or take on something new (such as a deeper daily prayer ritual or a devotional practice), consider observing Lent this year in a way that matters to you personally.
Jesus models Lent for us, yet it is up to us to put it into action. Through following Jesus' model for Lent, we will be able to draw closer to the Lord, grow stronger in our faith, and shine brightly for Him.
Each year, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. In 2023, Ash Wednesday will be February 22nd. Ash Wednesday focuses the Christian’s heart on repentance and prayer, usually through personal and communal confession.
We should be ready with an explanation in mind that shows our hope as a believer. We can explain why we’re making this sacrifice, and that reason should be to glorify God. Here are four things we show people when we participate in Lent.
These are deep topics for kids to understand, so consider Lent a time to introduce them to these concepts. Depending on their ages, it may be as simple as beginning to help them understand what sin is or as complex as teaching the theology behind many of the observations during Lent.
The season of Lent isn't just for Catholics. Protestants can also utilize this season to become closer with God and with each other in their marriages. Dedicate yourself to using your gifts in your home to edify your spouse. Dedicate your forty days to sacrificing something to understand Christ's sacrifice better. Pray together and allow God to grow your love for him and each other.
Oh, how I need the presence of Your Spirit! Please, God, as I look forward to Easter and the newness of spring, let it be a time of personal growth. Prune the branches in me that are not bearing fruit and cultivate the parts that are ready to flourish.
Do you have a significant other (a wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, or fiancé)? If so, why not give something up as a couple? Not only will this unique spin on the typical Lenten practice help you grow in your faith, but it's also sure to help you grow in your relationship.
Over the past few centuries, scholars have argued about the benefits of Lent. Do we do it? Do we not? Should I even celebrate Lent if I am not Catholic? To answer this question, we need to dive into a little bit of context.
In addition to receiving an ash cross on our forehead, services also have an Ash Wednesday prayer. Whether you, as a pastor, need ideas for the prayer, or you as a laity want to pray with your family before or after the Ash Wednesday service, we’ve included an example below.
Ash Wednesday is a penitent service that uses ash to mark the sign of the cross on the believer’s forehead, symbolizing our sinful nature and need for salvation. The Catholic church usually uses the ashes of Palm Sunday branches from the previous year’s Palm Sunday service.
Typically, in an Ash Wednesday service, a priest or pastor will place an ash cross on the foreheads of the congregation. The pastor will often recite one of the Ash Wednesday Scriptures below or will preach a sermon on it.
Below we’ve compiled some Lent Bible verses to prepare your hearts for the reflection and celebration that often accompanies these 40 days. As we anticipate Christ’s return, we celebrate what he has accomplished in the past and in our own lives.