The Meaning of Lent
The Season of Lent originated in the early centuries of church history as a time of preparation for Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts until Holy Saturday, the Saturday before Easter. The last week of Lent is called Holy Week, which includes both Maundy Thursday (commemorating the institution of the Lord’s Supper) and Good Friday (commemorating the crucifixion of our Lord).
Reminiscent of Israel’s forty years in the wilderness and Jesus’ forty days of fasting in the wilderness, the Lenten season, not counting Sundays, lasts forty days. Sundays are not included because the Lord’s Day, according to church tradition, is never a fast day but always a feast day, a celebration of the resurrection.
Lent is traditionally observed by penitence, sacrificial giving, self-denial, and prayer. We humble ourselves before God, coming before him in dust and ashes, confessing our sin and total inadequacy, stripping ourselves bare of all pretense. We place our needs, fears, failures, hopes and lives into the hands of God. We confess that our only hope is in Christ, who lived, died, and rose on our behalf.
Below is our Lenten Reading Guide to view or download. Copies are also available at the Welcome Table in the back of the sanctuary.