Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lent 2010

Next Wednesday (17th Feb) the Christian season of Lent begins. Literally millions and millions of Christians around the world will begin to observe the season of Lent.

Lent is the 40 period not counting Sundays that leads into Easter.

It is a season and period of time that is used to reflect on what it means to follow Christ and to resolve a fresh to live as a Christ follower in the world.

It is not so often observed in Pentecostal churches but is something we are encouraging our church to embrace this year.

In order to help you do this I’ve ordered in some Lenten Reflection booklets that have been prepared by World Vision that are available to anyone who would like one this Sunday morning.

Lenten Reflection Booklets
How the booklets will work... Basically there is a page for each day of Lent in the booklet. Each page shares a couple of thoughts and gives you the opportunity to reflect on something to do with your Christian walk.

Genius is not in the thoughts the booklet provides but rather in your willingness to pause and reflect and be open to the Holy Spirit speaking to you in regards to that which the booklet encourages you to contemplate.

A Time of Abstaining

As well a time of reflection Lent has traditionally also been a season of prayer, fasting and giving. Some churches observe a schedule of fasting on certain days though out Lent. Others focus more on charitable deeds and giving, especially in regards to the poor and their need for food, clothing and finance.

We’re not having any set times of fasting throughout Lent but would encourage you to consider fasting as you feel led and also of abstaining from something for the season of Lent.

Always Lent is a time of giving something up for a season. Meat, alcohol, sweets, other types of food, television, hot showers, watching sport, your cell phone, Facebook etc. Obviously the intention is that you abstain from something significant for you.

Throughout Lent I’m going to only drink water. No alcohol, no coke, no tea, no coffee, no juice, energy drinks, no milkshakes, no nothing other than water.
The significance of this is that it reminds me of how basic my needs really are, the goodness of God in that I have acess to fresh clean water, and the reality that while I am going without and having water, millions in the world literally do not have access to clean drinking water at all.

- I find in humility I am grateful and thankful before God for his blessing
- I’m mindful of so many who have so little
- I save money on what would otherwise be spent on other drinks which I can give towards helping others have water

So if you are going to celebrate Lent, I’d encourage you to think about what would be meaningful for you to give up.

Lent is also a time of prayer. Especially with a focus on repentance and the need for God’s grace and love in our lives.
It’s a preparation period leading into the celebration of God’s marvellous redemption at Easter, and the resurrected life that we live, and hope for, as Christians.

Lent may not be something you have ever heard of or observed in your Christian walk. It may be something a little different from what you have experienced before but it may also be something you would find particularly meaningful and fresh in your Christian faith.

Why don’t you join with me and millions of other Christians around the world and participate in Lent this year?
For more info on Lent click here.

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