Lent is just around the corner. It begins on Wednesday, March 1st (Ash Wednesday) and ends on Thursday, April 14. If you are unfamiliar with this Christian Church season, here is a brief overview:
“Ash Wednesday is an ancient church tradition dating from at least the eighth century AD. It marks the beginning of the season of Lent, a period of 40 days before Easter (not counting Sundays, which are days of celebration in honor of Christ’s resurrection.)
In the season of Lent, we follow Jesus “into the desert,” just as he spent 40 days alone in the wilderness before beginning his public ministry. During this season of prayer, repentance and discipline, we are humbled and reminded that our life and our hope depend entirely on the power and promise of God. And we commit ourselves to seeking first the kingdom of God with all that we are.
In this season we remember that the Christian life is a life of profound waiting: keeping watch for the kingdom of God that is coming. In a world that is deeply broken, we cling to a hope that comes only from the resurrection of Christ.
Remembering that the dead body of Jesus was raised to new life through God’s Spirit, we live for that day when God’s promise for this creation is fulfilled and “the whole earth is filled with his glory” (Isaiah 6). If God does not keep this promise, we are lost. This is the lesson we learn for the 40 days of Lent.”–– Bob Zurinsky
Oftentimes, during Lent, I’ll read one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John). SPU’s Center for Biblical and Theological Education created a very helpful resource, a guided Bible reading, including study notes and a podcast. Here is a direct link. Consider ‘liking’ their Facebook Page, too: SPU Lectio: Guided Bible Reading
As you prepare for the Lenten season, here are a few more resources:
• Seedbed’s blogs and videos about Lent.
•”Why I Need Lent” by Bishop David W. Kendall
•”Going to Hell, Jesus and Lent” by Bishop David W. Kendall
•”Amon’s Adventure: A Family Story for Easter” by Arnold Ytreeide
(Our family read this several years ago. This author has several family Advent books, too.)
•”Eastertide: Prayers for Lent Through Easter from The Divine Hours” by Phyllis Tickle
•”Fasting: Spiritual Freedom Beyond Our Appetites” by Lynne M. Baab
•”20 Things to Give Up for Lent” by Phil Ressler (and they just might surprise you)
By Jada Swanson who is Associate Pastor at Crossview Church in Snohomish, Washington