By: Pastor Scott Brodd
For years, as a Protestant Evangelical follower of Jesus, I've dismissed Lent as a "high-church-attempt-to-earn-God's-favor" tradition and refused any and every chance to look into the value of such a ritual. I was wrong. Despite the ways I've seen Lent abused and misused, the merit of the gift of Lent still holds true, especially when understood rightly as a personal fast to prepare our hearts to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. While observing Lent is not explicitly commanded in Scripture, fasting is often encouraged and commanded as a means to communicate your hunger for God to work on your heart and in your life for spiritual growth into maturity. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (March 1st) and ends Easter Sunday, lasting approximately 40 days. Just as Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness fasting in preparation to launch His ministry, Lent encourages us to spend 40 days fasting in order to prepare our hearts and minds for the greatest celebration of all time, Resurrection Sunday. "It is a time for fasting and self-denial, though not for denial itself. It is a period to empty ourselves of lesser things so that we might be filled with the greater things of the Gospel. Whereas Advent is a season of ever-increasing light awaiting the incarnation of Christ, Lent is a season of ever-decreasing light approaching the cross."
One of the ministries I look to most to shepherd my heart is The Village Church located in Texas. This year, to encourage their church family to observe Lent, they have published various resources individuals and families can use to help them press deeper into the "common grace" of Lent.
One of those resources is the following video of their teaching pastor, Matt Chandler, explaining why Lent, (when rightly understood) can have a profound impact on your relationship with Jesus. I encourage you to watch it.
In addition, The Village Church has also published a Lent Guide, a free, printable ebook anyone can access. "This guide walks you through the seven weeks of Lent. Each week includes a reading from the life of Christ in the Gospel of Luke, as well as four supplemental passages to consider throughout the week. Additionally, there is a suggested fast to coincide with each week."
My wife and I have committed to observing Lent this year using this resource. It is free to download, simply click the button below. Will you join me in preparing our hearts to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus?
Beach Lake FM Church does not claim any rights to this resource; all rights reserved by The Village Church.