What is Lent?
How do we get ready to celebrate Good Friday and Easter Sunday—two of the most important days of the Christian calendar? Over the years the church developed a tradition called Lent. Lent can be traced back to the 2nd century. During this season, new Christians would fast and study in preparation to be baptized on Easter Sunday. Eventually, entire congregations practiced Lent as a sign of Christian discipleship. It was a season of special emphasis on disciplines like living simply, prayer, fasting, giving to the poor and doing acts of service.
Christians counted forty days back from Easter (excluding Sundays), like Christ’s forty-day fast in the desert (Luke 4), to determine the time frame of the Lenten journey.
Lent is a forty-day journey on which we can stop, look, and listen to what God is doing. It’s a journey for which we should ask ourselves “What things do I need to leave behind so I can travel closer to Jesus? What things should I take with me?” On that journey, we stop to see what God wants us to do. We stop to see what saying “I’m sorry” looks like. We stop to see what it means to suffer for Jesus’ sake and to see what the Bible says about Jesus’ suffering. Finally, we walk, step by painful step, with Jesus on the road to the cross during passion week. It’s a hard road, but it shines with glory on Easter morning when we celebrate Christ’s resurrection!
For suggestions on some of the historic practices of Lent, click here.
For suggestions on how you can pray alongside us in the following areas of Mercy & Care, Mexico Missions and GraceKids, click here. Our hope is that this season would be both an "emptying" and "filling" time of preparation as you journey towards Easter.
Here are a few additional resources you might find useful for your own Lenten journey and for celebrating Lent together as a family.
Teach us to Pray (Scripture-Centered Family Worship through the Year)
Keeping a Holy Lent (Trinity Church, Tools for the Christian Life)
The Reason Love Reaches (Poems for Lent by Sam Gutierrez)
Jesus Temptation in Desert (Youtube Video)
Children's Lent Resources (Illustrations and Coloring Pages)
Lent 2019: Gifted Campaign
As part of our Lenten journey at Grace Sacramento, we we will hold a special season of giving in concert with the practices of Lent to empower gospel ministry at 59th and Broadway and around the world. We are calling this effort to give above and beyond our regular Sunday offering Lent 2019: Gifted. Through it, we hope to build and furnish a house this summer for a Mexican family involved with one of our church partners in Ensenada, Mexico AND provide new flooring and heating/cooling for our GraceKids facility here. We intend to give one dollar to mission in Mexico for every dollar we spend here.
Lent 2019: Gifted is a Lenten campaign designed to explore traditional spiritual disciplines of Lent and empower ministry of word and deed in Sacramento and Mexico. Over the next five Sundays, we hope to explore some historic ways Christians have practiced Lent including learning the practices of prayer, fasting, serving, living simply, and giving. Each week's Lenten reflection will be accompanied by some suggestions of ways that you and your family might experiment with the practices of Lent and help with our Gifted giving season at the same time.