Doing Lent well

Mar 5, 2019 by

By Alastair Sterne, St Peter’s Fireside, ANiC.

[…] We are about to enter into a season in which we reflect upon our mortality, brokenness, and sinfulness. But we do this with a sense of anticipation and hope because we’re preparing for the ever-present reality of Easter. Because of this, Lent is known as a period of “bright sadness.” Just as the dark days of winter give way to the increased sunniness of spring, so too does the mess of our condition as broken people give way to something new and beautiful in Jesus.

Lent is a major Christian festival celebrated by Christians around the world and throughout the ages. It lasts 40 days (well, 46 if you include Sundays, but let’s not worry about that for now). Why 40? Isn’t that a little excessive? Many fasts in Scripture are 40 days long. Most importantly, Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness. Lent is an ode (of sorts) to this time. It’s wilderness space. We enter a barren space to depend on God rather than earthly comforts.

Unsurprisingly, Lent is well known as a season of fasting. In most expressions of Lent the fasting involves food. Orthodox Christians essentially turn vegan. Catholics give up select foods on select days. Many forms of Protestantism encourage a commitment to fast in some capacity. In recent years, many have pressed the fasting should expand beyond food: be it abstaining from television, social media, working out, or some other activity that occupies a good deal of your time and mental space.

There are two questions I want to address.

First, how do we do Lent well?

And lastly, how should we participate in Lent?

Read here


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