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 prayer, fasting, doing acts of service, living simply, and giving to the poor.
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 how you can pray alongside us during this Lenten season, click here. You'll find a prayer calendar of topics in the following areas: GraceKids, Youth, Mexico Missions, our community, our Mercy & Care, our pastors/staff, session and diaconate. Our hope is that this season would be both an "emptying" and "filling" time of preparation as you journey towards Easter.
Lent 2020: Legacy Campaign
Over the next five Sundays, our sermon series will anticipate Christ’s passion at Easter by examining the lives of Jesus’ closest followers and the LEGACY He left with His disciples. We will also explore ways Christians in history have prepared for Easter by learning Lenten practices.
As part of our Lenten journey at Grace Sacramento, we will hold a special season of giving in concert with the practices of Lent. This effort to give above and beyond our regular Sunday offering coincides with our Lent 2020 teaching theme: LEGACY. Through it, we hope to build and furnish a house for a family in Ensenada, Mexico and provide scholarships for Grace Sacramento folks to travel to Mexico this summer to help build it.
Each Sunday during Lent, we will offer suggestions of ways that you and your family might experiment with the practices of Lent and help with our LEGACY giving season at the same time.
Here are a few additional resources you might find useful for your own Lenten journey and for celebrating Lent together as a family. Click on the links below to access recommended free and paid resources.
Jesus is Tempted [YouTube Video]
To Ash or Not to Ash [Dr. Tim LeCroy]
What is the Deal with Lent? [Fr. Aaron Damiani]
An Illustrated Lent for Families [Illustrated Ministry]
How to Explain Ash Wednesday to Children [Robin Floch]
Keeping a Holy Lent [Craig Higgins]
Lent Resource Guide [Calvin Institute of Christian Worship]
Holy Week Resource Guide [Calvin Institute of Christian Worship]
History of Lenten Fasting [Dr. Tim Lecroy]