Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What is lent all about?

Lent is a season that the Church celebrates for the 40 days leading up to Easter (not including Sundays). This year, Lent is celebrated from 9th of March until the 23rd of April.

For the uninitiated here is a short definition:

"The purpose of Lent is to be a season of fasting, self-denial, Christian growth, penitence, conversion, and simplicity. Lent, which comes from the Teutonic (Germanic) word for springtime, can be viewed as a spiritual spring cleaning: a time for taking spiritual inventory and then cleaning out those things which hinder our corporate and personal relationships with Jesus Christ and our service to him.There are a few basic tasks that traditionally have been associated with Lent. Many of these have a long history. These are fasting, almsgiving, and prayer. In addition, reading the Scriptures and the Church's Writings can help one grow during Lent."

(sourced from http://www.churchyear.net/lent.html)

Often, to engage with the "fasting" of Lent many people will choose to give up something for the full 40 days. For example, those of us who are addicted to a daily shot of caffeine may give up our coffee drinking habit (If you notice an increasing grumpiness during Lent this may be why!) It's up to each one of us with how we engage with Lent.

This year we hope that as we celebrate Lent together we engage freshly with what it means to be disciples of Jesus Christ. This Jesus is the one whom was tempted, who resisted the powers of evil and was crucified and raised from death by God therefore defeating the powers of darkness.

As we celebrate Lent this year, we remember that we are to be a "cruciform" (cross shaped) community that take up our cross and follow Jesus. So this Lent, we seek to pray, fast, give and read the word together so that we may be transformed to be more like Christ.

This blog is here to help you take this journey: each day of Lent we will post readings from the Bible, some provoking thoughts, pictures, videos and an exercise to help you engage with Lent.

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