A holy invitation.
The Season of Lent is a gift of God for the People of God. It is a gift to be cherished and not dreaded; to be used and not neglected. The liturgical season we call ‘Lent’ developed slowly over the course of the first few centuries of the church. It began quite naturally with the innate need and desire of the first Christians to celebrate fully and truly the resurrection of our Lord. They found that we cannot do this without tying the events of Good Friday with those of Easter day—the horror before the joy, the experience of grief and loss before the unexpected, and the glorious recovery and gain of the Resurrection.
To help in the experience of Lent, a forty hour fast between Good Friday and Easter day became a natural and helpful preparation for the Great Feast Day. Over time a forty day fast was developed for the incorporation of new believers and for the restoration of ‘notorious sinners.’
Again over time, what was demanded of some became embraced by many and encouraged for all. It was embraced by many because they saw the formative power of this wonderful ‘tool.’
Why should new converts and notorious sinners be the only ones to gain from this season of fasting? Why shouldn’t their joy of Easter be deepened by their embrace of the disciplines of Lent? Shouldn’t all Christians be led more surely into newness of life through the deepening of the habits that lead to life?
The early Church, following the teaching of our Lord, retained the three great Jewish spiritual disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving as the active focus of Lent and added to them the meditation on Scripture (the placement of our lives within the great story of Scripture) and intentional self-examination and repentance.
On Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, priests throughout the Anglican communion issued this invitation: “I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.”
We at Christ the Redeemer invite you to join us in the acceptance of this holy invitation as we journey through the season of Lent together.
There are many ways you can join with us in worship and learning during the Lenten Season in 2019. Click here to learn more.