For those of you who (like me) are new to the idea of celebrating Lent, it can be a confusing season in the life of the church. Ashes on the forehead, giving up things we love for weeks, it all can seem a bit strange. It’s easy to understand why we celebrate Christmas or Easter, but why go through this uncomfortable season? Why put ourselves through this long process?
In fact, when you dig beneath the surface, the season of Lent is much more than just giving things up for a few weeks. It is a “fasting” season, where we re-enact the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert with a 40-day process of our own. As you probably know, many people choose to “give up” something, like chocolate, sodas, or television. The important thing to remember, however, is that instead of just getting rid of trivial things, Lent is more about adding space in our lives. We intentionally remove something in order to make us more available to connect with God. It’s about carving out space in our hearts, minds, and calendars, which often involves giving something up along the way.
Over the next few weeks, if we walk through Lent with the right intention and attitude, we can walk away with a much richer connection with Christ. Along the way, we may learn more about what is truly controlling our lives, and what areas we need to surrender completely to God. And in the end, Easter will become a much more meaningful celebration, a “feast” that helps us embrace the good news of the resurrection.
Lent @ The Parish – At The Parish, we’re excited about walking through the season of Lent together as a congregation. The journey will happen mostly online, through this blog. So if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe by clicking the link on the top right-hand section of this page. Ready to get started? Here’s how to join us along the way:
- Daily Office – Each week, we’ll post a list of Daily Office readings. There are several scripture passages each day to help focus our hearts each morning. Since these readings are taken from the Book of Common Prayer, you’ll be reading along with millions of people all over the world, joining together in asking God to grow and change us through the Scripture. For more information on what the Daily Office is, and how to use it each day, see our earlier blog post by clicking here.
- The Lent Project – Throughout the Lenten journey, we’ll be posting some devotional thoughts on the day’s Daily Office readings. Each blog post will be written by someone close to The Parish family, and they will help us dig a little deeper into the scriptures as we read together.
So stay tuned here on The Parish Blog and join us as we walk through the next few weeks. Whether you choose to give up coffee, sugar or nothing at all, we hope this journey helps us all create more space in our lives to listen, follow, and be transformed by Christ.