Spring is fast approaching with Easter falling on April 20th. Prior to Easter, however, is the Christian season of Lent, which begins today, March 5th. In the western church, Lent is traditionally celebrated the 40 days prior to Easter (excluding Sundays). Much like Advent, Lent is a season of preparation as we remember what Christ sacrificed to save us all.
Though the Bible itself does not mention Lent, its practices were originally based on Scripture passages about fasting, prayer, and self-discipline (such as Luke 4:1-2 and Matthew 6:5-18). Through the centuries and among the various denominations, Lenten practices have varied, but the one thing they all have in common is a goal of drawing believers closer to Christ through self-sacrifice or times of devotion and prayer. Many of these practices involve some sort of fasting or the giving up of a certain luxury, food item, or activity. The idea is that, as you find yourself wanting what you have given up, you choose instead to focus your mind on Christ through prayer and worship. Some people also set aside a specific time of prayer, worship, and devotion during Lent while some church denominations hold special Lenten services each week. Lenten practices can be done either individually or with others, such as your family.
We invite you and your family to consider adding some Lenten activities and practices into your lives as we anticipate the coming of Easter. We have provided some ideas and activities in the links below. Lent offers a unique opportunity to teach children the values of fasting, prayer, worship, and self-discipline as you prepare your hearts for Easter and remember what Christ has done for each of us.