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Friday
Feb122016

Don’t understand what Lent is? We’ve got you covered

Article By Georgia O. Harris:: EEW Magazine Spiritual Resources

Share I grew up Pentecostal and the pastor at our small church never mentioned Lenten Season.

I felt like a complete outcast and uninformed Christian when I relocated to another state and my new faith-filled community talked so freely about it. I was confused!

If you, like me, weren’t raised with the understanding of this sacred period of consecration, don’t worry. That doesn’t mean you don’t love God or you’re a “bad Christian” so-to-speak.

In fact, everyone Christian doesn’t celebrate Lent and there is no scriptural mandate. Yet, more than a billion Believers around the world, from various theological persuasions, do observe it as a way of focusing their thoughts on Jesus Christ.

So what is Lent exactly?

Lent simply commemorates Jesus’ 40-day fasting and temptation in the wilderness, before beginning his public ministry, several years before He was crucified. It technically ends Thursday, March 24th, but culminates on Easter Sunday, which is March 27th this year.

During this 40-day preparation for Resurrection Sunday, Believers use it as a time of self-denial and self-examination. Through prayer, fasting, worship and meditation on God’s word, they get spiritually focused.

Observers of Lent usually give up certain indulgences like meat, soda, decadent desserts and other favorite foods—even social media. Also, effort is put forth to grow in faith and get rid of bad habits, and negative attributes that hinder spiritual growth.

It’s all about sacrifice and consecration.

Lenten Season officially began Wednesday, Feb. 10, what was known as “Ash Wednesday.”

On this day, some Christians mark their foreheads with ash as a symbol of sorrow and mourning over their sin. Often, Job 42:5-6 is used to express this type sorrow.

He said, “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

Although Lent is actually 46 days, Sundays are not included in the times of observance. That’s because Sundays are a time of joy and celebration, and are not prescribed as days of fasting and abstinence.

Should I Observe Lent?

If you do choose to participate in this 40-day period of consecration, make sure you’re not doing it out of a legalistic compulsion. It is a personal decision and not an obligation.

When it comes down to it, anything that will enhance your walk with the Savior and draw you into sweet communion with the Lord can’t be a bad thing.

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