What is Lent? (Journey to the Cross)

How will you journey this Lenten season?

First the background…

The 6 weeks before Easter is called the “Lenten Season”. It’s a time to focus on Christ’s sacrifice of death for our life. Because Jesus rose from the dead, we too can rise and enjoy heaven forever when we put our trust in Him.

LENT is a process of prayer and spiritual renewal. The Lenten season focuses on dying to our self and living for Him. Often Christians will fast from something in order to rely less on other things and rely more on Him.

The word ‘lent’ means ‘lengthen’ and stands for the time in Spring when the days grow longer. The original period of Lent was 40 hours, and was spent fasting to remember the suffering of Christ and the 40 hours He spent in the tomb. In the early 3rd century, it was lengthened to 6 days and then 36 days (36 being the tithe or tenth of the 365 days of the year). About 800 AD it changed to 40 days (or 46 if you include all the Sundays between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday).

In many traditions, Lent is a time for cleaning, in preparation for Easter and Spring. First your soul, then your kitchen, then the rest of the house was cleansed and purified of the past year’s accumulations. Old clothes are mended, or given away, new clothes are purchased. In the Ukraine, houses were whitewashed inside and out during Lent. In this way, everything was made ready to face the season of Salvation and Rebirth. Traditions of ‘spring cleaning’ stem from this.

I’ve been prompted to choose the following Lenten Focus:

Read Matthew 5 daily for every 40 days (Reflective reading)

Make a Gratitude list – daily

Pray for others I see as I walk

Choose forgiveness daily

I will also be taking my family through reflections on Jesus’ journey to the cross.

What will you set aside, get rid of and focus on in order to set your eyes on Jesus, His love and sacrifice for you?

 

 

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