Today marks the beginning of Lent. This is a solemn observance of 40 days of prayer, fasting and contrition in preparation for celebrating the resurrection Easter Morning. Easter is the celebration of our glorious salvation. It has been secured for us by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and offered to us as a free gift of grace.
Often the evangelical church has chosen to move away from liturgical ceremonies and observances for fear that tradition might replace true worship or that certain aspects of the observances might be theologically askew. Certainly care must be given that this observance does not become thought of as a means of attaining favor with God. Favor with God only comes with through faith in Christ, his death and resurrection. This is the gift of God apart from any work we can do. But let’s not let our fear of these keep us from using the next 40 days to prepare our selves well for the Easter celebration.
A blog I read this week gives some helpful questions to ask ourselves as we observe the Lent:
1. When I wake up on Resurrection Sunday morning, how will I be different? What am I preparing for?
2. Is there something in my life—a habit, a grudge, a fear, a prejudice, an addiction, an emotional barrier, a form of excess—that keeps me from loving God with my heart, soul, mind, and strength and loving my neighbor as myself? How might I address that over the next 40 days?
3. Lent is a time to listen to God, but sometimes God speaks through others, particularly the poor, oppressed, marginalized, and suffering. To whom should I be listening this season? How can I cultivate a listening posture toward others whose perspective and experiences might differ from my own?
4. Is there a spiritual discipline—praying, fasting, meditation, or scripture memory that I could benefit from? How might I alter my daily routine to include one of these disciplines?
5. The cycle of death and resurrection is central to the Christian faith. In what ways is that cycle present in my life right now? Where might there be necessary change, suffering, death and decay, and how might new life emerge from those experiences?
I have committed to making these 40 days a season of preparation for celebrating what Jesus Christ has done for me. I want to be reminded of the Gospel’s affect on my life, who I was before I knew Christ and what he has done now. I want to be more grateful and mindful of his great work in my life. To do that I am going to continue to keep up with our 52 Weeks Study but also read Romans 3:9-26 everyday for the next 40 days. I am doing this to remember what it cost God to forgive my sin.
Secondly, I am going to pray everyday for the child on Grace Kids Heart from Sunday. I am doing this so I am not just praying for my needs and desires, but I am putting someone else before me.
Join me in this won’t you? You don’t have to do exactly what I am doing you can gain other ideas HERE.