We've begun the season of lent! Lent is a season of six weeks (40 days) that lead us to Easter. Lent comes from the word "lenten" meaning spring. We kick off lent on Ash Wednesday by praying and reading scripture and smearing ashes on our foreheads to remind ourselves of our mortality and sinfulness and need for redemption and restoration.
Lent commemorates the time Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness and overcoming temptation by satan. Lent has traditionally been used as a time for fasting, prayer, and repentance of sins. Early converts to the faith were examined and prepared for baptism and Church membership during lent and received into the Church on Easter. I find this to be a beautiful and profound expression of the faith.
I am always personally challenged during this season of the Church year. I've had the privilege of witnessing many people, young and old express their faith and accept the challenge of lent and sacrifice their desires to be closer to their savior. Years past as a Youth Pastor I witnessed many young people take this season very serious and commit with prayer and fasting the entire 40 day period, this was very encouraging for me.
This will be my third year as a Sr. Pastor leading my congregation during lent. Each year I have been inspired to provide the Church with devotional material in order to provide for a Church wide experience. This year we have devotionals again but will include a time weekly where we gather together mid day to read scriptures and pray together then pray and meditate own our own at a local park.
I am excited for this season of lent. I am expecting it to be a challenging season but the rewards far out weigh the struggle.