We wanted to gather some information about Lent to enlighten those on the topic who might be unfamiliar with the true meaning of the term and encourage Christians to take part in the season before Easter Sunday that is so vital to our faith because of the crucifixion and resurrection.
Please below and links are included:
In many liturgical Christian denominations, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday form the Easter Triduum. Lent is a season of grief that necessarily ends with a great celebration of Easter. Thus, it is known in Eastern Orthodox circles as the season of "Bright Sadness."
- What is Lent? By Andy Rau Senior manager of content for Bible Gateway.
How does one observe Lent? It differs from person to person and church to church, but some of the things Christians opt to do to observe Lent include:
- On the first day of Lent (Ash Wednesday), some Christians mark their foreheads with ash as a symbol of sorrow and mourning over their sin. (See Job 42 for an example of ash used as a symbol of repentance.)
- Special worship services, or additions to regular worship services, that focus in various ways on man’s need for repentance. This often takes the form of extra Scripture readings and prayer.
- Some Christians choose to give up a habit or behavior during Lent as an exercise in prayerful self-denial. This might range from something as simple as not drinking soda during Lent to a full-blown program of fasting.
- Some Christians commit to a special devotional activity during Lent—for example, daily Scripture reading, regular prayer for a specific person or topic throughout Lent, or volunteer work in their community.
- What is Lent? By Mary Fairchild
The Bible does not mention the custom of Lent, however, the practice of repentance and mourning in ashes is found in 2 Samuel 13:19; Esther 4:1; Job 2:8; Daniel 9:3; and Matthew 11:21.
Likewise, the word "Easter" does not appear in the Bible and no early church celebrations of Christ's resurrection are mentioned in Scripture. Easter, like Christmas, is a tradition that developed later in church history.
The account of Jesus' death on the cross, or crucifixion, his burial and his resurrection, or raising from the dead, can be found in the following passages of Scripture: Matthew 27:27-28:8; Mark 15:16-16:19; Luke 23:26-24:35; and John 19:16-20:30.
- "That is something all people, even followers of Jesus, are prone to forget. It is what led Martin Luther to say that religion is the default mode of the human heart. He knew that we are constantly tempted to rely on what we do for God, instead of relying what he has done for us in Christ.
This is why the apostle Paul said, “These [traditions] have an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh” (Col. 2:23).
Without focusing on the grace of God, all fasting—including Lenten fasting—is just self-made religious tradition aimed at making us feel righteous because of something we do. But it doesn't have to be that way. Believers who observe Lent should remember that their fasting does not make them more righteous than those who do not observe Lent. Similarly, believers who refrain from Lent ought to realize that not everyone who observes Lent does so believing that their efforts make them righteous in the eyes of God.
So this Lenten season, whether you eat or fast, or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God."
And no matter what, we agree with the author Doug Ponder, who wrote above..."do it all to the glory of God"
We hope you were able to learn some about Lent and be encouraged to take part and continue to repent and grow year round.