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Lent (an old English word for Spring) is the season each year in which we approach the crucifixion (Good Friday) and the resurrection (Easter Sunday) of Jesus Christ. It begins with Ash Wednesday and lasts forty days, not counting Sundays, because Sundays already commemorate Jesus’ resurrection. Historically, as the Lenten season developed, 40 days was settled upon because of Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness of fasting, prayer and solitude with His Father in preparation for His ministry on earth.
Lent is a time for sacrifice and self-examination, for increased self-awareness and God-awareness, for spiritual refocus and renewing of our conversion, for seeing our own need for Grace, and for opening our hearts to be more captured by Jesus’ love.
Some people adopt the discipline of “giving up” or “taking on” during the observation of Lent, which serves as a daily reminder of Christ’s love and sacrifice. Basically the discipline is intended to turn our thoughts to Him. This is a personal decision between you and God. If it becomes too burdensome, please stop without guilt! Lent is meant to be enlivening and deepening, not another legalistic rule of proving to God your worth or affection for Him.
According to the Covenant Book of Worship, it is “During this season the church proclaims, remembers, and responds in gratitude and faith to Christ’s atoning death.” Let us join the millions of believers from ages past and throughout the world in this time of reflection and rejoicing.
Adapted in part from 40 Days of Lent by Ty Saltzgiver
There are multiple ways that we can come together as a church this Lent. The River Prayer Team is going through a Lenten Devotional created by Redeemer Church and is also fasting each Wednesday during Lent and would like to invite the whole church to go through the devotional and fast together. The River is also providing a scripture reading plan for the 40 days of Lent.
Fasting Guidelines and Information by International House of Prayer