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Gospel of John 2024 Slide Options

What is Lent? 

Good Friday and Easter are two of the most important days of the Christian calendar on which God made the riches of his grace known through the death and resurrection of Christ. How do we get ready to celebrate Good Friday and Easter Sunday? 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 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! Click here to download the prayer guide. 

LENT 2024: Encounters with Jesus
As part of our Lenten journey, it is tradition at Grace Sacramento to hold a special season of giving in concert with the practices of Lent to empower gospel ministry near home and around the world. We are calling this effort to give above and beyond our regular Sunday offering LENT 2024: Encounters with Jesus. Through it, we hope to provide generously to our short term mission team traveling to Turkey this summer, joining pastor Ihsan Cetin in sharing Christ in a community that is 90% Muslim. We will also hope to empower our Mercy and Care team to launch a Stephen Ministry program to provide care to members of the Grace Sac community going through massive life changes like grief, loss and transition. We intend to give two dollars to the mission in Turkey for every dollar we spend on our own congregations care through Stephen Ministry. Our goal is to raise $9,000 ($6,000 to Turkey, $3,000 to Mercy & Care).

Grace Sacramento is planning multiple special events as part of LENT 2024: Encounters with Jesus including:

  • February 18th Encountering Jesus: Professing Your Faith @ 12:15p 
  • February 27th Encountering Jesus in Prayer & Worship @ 7p 
  • March 16th Encountering Mercy and Care: Homeless Outreach
  • March 29th Encountering His Sacrifice: Good Friday Service @ 6p
  • March 31st Encountering Resurrection: Easter Celebration @ 9a and 10:45a

*Communion will be taken during the Good Friday service and not at the Easter celebration


Palm Sunday (Sunday, March 24th @ 10:30a)

Palm Sunday, also called Passion Sunday, in the Christian tradition, is the first day of Passion Week and the Sunday before Easter, commemorating Jesus Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Join us at our regular time at 10:30a in our worship space.

Worship and Prayer Night (Tuesday, February 27th @ 7p)
Good Friday Service (Friday, March 29th @ 6p)

Come participate in our Good Friday Table & Tenebrae service on Friday, March 29th at 6pm. The word “tenebrae” comes from the Latin meaning darkness or shadows. The Tenebrae is an ancient Christian Good Friday service that makes use of gradually diminishing light to symbolize the events of Jesus last night before his death: from His prayers in Gethsemane to His arrest, crucifixion and burial.

Easter Sunday Service (Sunday, March 31st @ 9a & 10:45a)

Join us for our Easter service on March 31st at 9am or 10:45am. Bring your friends and family as we look forward to celebrating our risen Christ together! Stay after for a picnic on the corner and some festivities.

Additional Resources

Worship (click on any of the links below)
On Keeping a Holy Lent (Craig R. Higgins, Trinity Presbyterian Church, PCA)
Lent Resource Guide (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship)
To Ash or Not to Ash (Dr. Tim LeCroy, Christ Our King Presbyterian Church)
History of Lenten Fasting (Dr. Tim LeCroy, Vita Pastoralis)
Holy Week Resource Guide (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship)
Easter Resource Guide (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship)

Lent for Children
Five Family-Friendly Resources for Lent (Christianity Today)
Children’s Lenten Guide (Little Way Lent Guide, Wheatland, PCA)
How to explain Ash Wednesday to Children (blog by Robin Floch)
We Wonder Podcast for Lent (We Wonder Podcast)
The Jesus Storybook Bible Lent Guide

Art and Poetry (click on any of the links below)
"Longing, Lenten" by Brett Foster (1973-2015)
‘Confession’ (‘O What a Cunning Guest’) by George Herbert
The Lent Project: Daily Devotionals with Art from the Biola University Center for Christianity, Culture, and the Arts 

Songs for Lent (Spotify Playlist)
Authentic Christianity (sermon by Tim Keller, The Lent Project on YouTube)
Holy Week Resources (streaming media resources,
Audio Lent Retreat 2020 (by Pray as You Go)
"Born Again" (Josh Garrels)
Johnny Cash reads John 3

Other Readings
Forty for 40: A Literary Reader for Lent (Nick Ripatrazone)
Lent for Everyone: Matthew, Year A: A Daily Devotional (N.T. Wright)
God for Us: Rediscovering Lent and Easter (ed. by Greg Pennoyer and Gregory Wolfe)
Open and Unafraid: The Psalms as a Guide to Life (David Taylor)
Great Lent: Journey to Pascha (Alexander Schmemann)