My family did not observe Lent as I was growing up. It seemed like an exotic practice for other parts of the church, especially Roman Catholics. (We were pretty enthusiastic about Pancake Tuesday though, especially with homemade maple syrup. That’s as close as we ever got to celebrating Mardi Gras.)
Now that I’ve been following Jesus for a while, I’ve learned a few things from the other parts of God’s family. As a result I’ve grown to appreciate the rhythms of the Christian year.
The six weeks of Lent helps Christians to prepare for Easter. It’s generally seen as a time to deny ourselves and to be reminded of the cost of discipleship. It’s not unusual for people to ask each other, “What are you giving up for Lent?” While self-denial and self-discipline are valuable for any of us, we should also see Lent as an excellent opportunity to develop new spiritual disciplines.
Over the next several weeks, we will be considering some of those good spiritual habits – prayer, simplicity, Bible study, and generosity. This is not an exhaustive list of healthy spiritual practices, just an introduction.
We invite your input as we journey together through Lent. Let’s have some good spiritual conversations…
Some questions to get us started…what is your experience of Lent? Have you ever given up something for Lent? Or started a new good spiritual habit?