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Looking Forward to Celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (aka: the Season of Lent)

February 10, 2016

This post was originally posted on ConvergeChurch.ca and has been archived here.

Today has traditionally been known on the Christian Calendar as Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of the season of Lent, which is the 6 weeks leading up to Good Friday. In many ways, Lent is to Easter as Advent is to Christmas. So just as we spent some more focused time looking forward to Christmas during the season of Advent, we want to spend some more focused time now leading up to the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus.

If you were to observe Lent, it doesn’t make you any more of a Christian than not observing it does, and as varied as church history is, that’s how varied the ways of observing it throughout the centuries has been. So what is an evangelically appropriate and gospel-centered way to observe Lent without making it all about a tradition or turning it into legalism? I think the answer is simple—focus on Christ.

We’ve begun a series on 1 Thessalonians and many times throughout this little book, we have been instructed over and over to focus on Christ. If you choose to fast from food or go without a luxury of yours for Lent, great, but the point is not to see how strong we can be against our temptations…the point is not even to give up a bad habit and better ourselves during the next 40 days…the point of anticipating the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the person of Jesus Christ himself!

Let me be clear. Focussing on Christ is a habit all Christians ought to be ninja-awesome at, so why wouldn’t we take the next 40 days and build some good habits into our lives that might become lifelong patterns that keep us focussing on Christ for the rest of our lives?

Here’s some ways we’ll be working together over the next 40 days as we focus on Christ:

  • Tomorrow we will be gathering for our monthly prayer meeting, and again on the 2nd Thursday in March (the 10th).
  • We will be praying and planning together our Easter Sunday gathering coming up this year on March 27. This also just happens to be our monthly potluck Sunday.
  • I personally think this is the best time of year to get baptized and identify with the burial & resurrection of Jesus, so we’re going to plan on having baptisms this time of year…either on Good Friday sometime, or after the potluck on Sunday. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions about baptism.
  • We’ll pause regularly for corporate confession together in our gatherings.
  • We’ll sing songs specifically focusing our thoughts and worship on the cross/resurrection of Christ.
  • We’ll continue to dig into 1 Thessalonians together each week (and the other regular Bible readings) believing that God can do in and among us what he did in and among the church of Thessalonica back in the day as continue to plant, water, pray, repeat.

Anticipating and celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ excites me, lets observe Lent together by focussing on Jesus and praying and working together toward our corporate celebration on the weekend of March 27th.

Pastor Mark Myles

(HT: Randy Lundy & his post on the Downtown Cornerstone Church website, “Lent: Honoring Christ, Reflecting the Gospel, and Deepening Our Worship”)

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