What is Lent?
Updated: Nov 24, 2022
Lent is an ancient Christian practice that connects the believer to the forty-day fast that Jesus experienced in the desert, as he was tempted by Satan. The church, even in its earliest iterations, followed times of fasting and preparation that have evolved into the forty-day season of Lent we know today. Though different denominations practice Lent differently, all are bound by the same concept of identifying with the many sacrifices of Christ walking among us, culminating in his ultimate sacrifice on the cross.
“Lent is one of those elements of Christian practice that binds the Christian community to one another and to its beginnings. It ties us to the core of us that is not transient, that is not changing, that does not fail us. Lent gives the lie to isolation. We are not alone. We walk with the church throughout the world on this journey to renewal. We walk, too, with the One who has gone before us to bring us home again.”
Joan Chittister, The Liturgical Year, p. 117
As Jesus emerges from the desert, his very first act of ministry is to proclaim the good news of God:
“The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news.”
Jesus is inviting us to repent – to change direction – and to reorient our lives around the rule and reign of God. For this year’s Lent journey, we are going to continue to practice the way of Jesus together by laying down our rights, our excuses, our sins, and our very selves to make way for the Coming King.