“You have a smudge on your forehead. Let me get that for you.”
What is Lent and why is it important?
Lent is a tradition that the church has passed down from one generation to the next since the early days of Christianity (At least the 4th Century AD). However, many protestants chose to not align themselves with a season a Lent for one reason or another. Recently, there has been a swing back to recapture the Church Calendar and the special moments throughout that promote a closeness with Christ.
The meaning of the word “lent” is simply Springtime. It marks the beginning of our journey towards Easter, towards hope, towards renewal, and towards Resurrection. The season of Lent is a reminder. It’s a wake-up call. It’s an opportunity to hit the “big red re-do” button on our spiritual journey. The focus during Lent is on prayer, sacrifice, and a laser-focus on Jesus Christ. It is a time to remember our baptism. If you have been baptized, allow Lent to be a time to reflect upon all of the things that your baptism means (adopted, part of God’s family, an inward change, God’s grace moving in your life, marked). Traditionally, Lent has been associated with fasting, the practice of giving something up in order to focus on Christ.
Our hope for Restoration Community Church is that we use this season of Lent to draw ourselves, our family, and our church closer into communion with Christ. We believe that if each of us will spend more time in prayer and more time focusing on Christ that each of our lives will be enriched.
What is Ash Wednesday?
Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. Ash Wednesday is a solemn day of remembering that we are broken and that one day, we will die. That’s not exactly the pump-you-up message that many of us are comfortable with hearing. However, realizing our brokenness and our frailty creates an opportunity for each of us to come to the realization even more that we need Jesus Christ.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of our “40-day” journey towards Easter. In reality, the journey is a little over 40 days because we don’t include each Sunday in our count. One of the themes that is associated with Lent and starting on Ash Wednesday is fasting. Many people will begin fasting from chocolate, coffee, television, or even social media. The concept around this theme of self-sacrifice is to give up something that we enjoy so that we may use that time or energy and focus instead on Jesus. Fasting during Lent is not a fad diet or next cool thing to do. It is a genuine opportunity and desire to focus on our Savior. Recently, some people have chosen to not fast from something but to begin something. Some people will begin a new spiritual discipline or start a new positive habit in their lives. Take the time to pray and seek what you need to withdraw from or begin that will draw you closer to Christ.
You are loved,