This Sunday is the first Sunday in the season of Lent, which in the Church Calendar is the 40 days before Easter. During this time each year, believers all over the world have fast and pray, meditating on their need for a Savior before rejoicing on the day we celebrate his Resurrection.
We as a church have opted to make this season a part of our worship in order to orient our time throughout the year around the Story of the Gospel. For many of us, this is very different, very strange, and a little intimidating. Since holidays such as Lent or Pentecost (and even Easter and Christmas for that matter!) are not commanded in Scripture, they are not binding on people’s consciences. You are free to fast and pray and prepare your heart before Easter, and you are free not to. Neither will improve your standing with God or others or make your more – or less – spiritual.
We have chosen to incorporate this season into our liturgy and practice to give those who feel led in our church the opportunity to reorient their minds, hearts, prayers, and lives around the deep and abiding nature of their sin, thus making the sweetness of God’s grace flowing from the Gospel of Jesus Christ ever sweeter. Lent can be used as an aide to worship our Lord Jesus greater than before! We pray that regardless of how (or if) you choose to celebrate this season, that the Lord gives you His Spirit to worship Him in a deeper way than the year before. May this be our prayer every year!