The Meaning of Lent


Lent is the season that lasts between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. It is time of spiritual preparation for Christians through prayer, repentance of sins, almsgiving and self-denial. It had become popular many years ago for Christians to think about what they would “give up” for Lent as a way of teaching themselves the meaning of self-denial. In the many ways Christians practiced this discipline, giving up chocolate was one of the most popular. The idea was to give up something you like so that you had that chocolate to look forward to having and really enjoying again on Easter Sunday.
What has become more popular in the past decade is the practice of taking something on for Lent. Let me encourage you to consider the options that speaks most to you. What do you need that will help you focus on your relationship with God? Maybe it is spending more time with the Bible? Maybe it is spending more time in prayer or worship? Maybe it is adopting a practice of giving that allows you to give time and service to help others – like volunteer time with a social agency? It may also include spending more time with your family and less time at work. There are many ways you can add something to enrich your life.
The important question to ask is, “What will help me grow closer to God, family, and my neighbor?” Perhaps you should begin first with simply a time to pause, reflect on your sins that need to be repented of and forgiven, and then ask God to show you what you can do in coming weeks to help you live a better life, becoming more gracious and kinder in the way you deal with yourself, your family, and also your neighbors. It begins with a time of self-introspection and prayer and repentance. It’s what Lent is all about, and if you take it seriously, Easter takes on a whole new and deeper meaning for your life.


Pastor Dennis