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A Season of Repentance, Renewal, and Preparation

Lenten Service

 

 

On Wednesday, February 26, we gathered corporately to lay aside our distractions and enter into the liturgical season of Lent, a time of repentance, cleansing, and renewal.

If you were unable to be with us on that evening, we encourage you to watch Pastor Gerald's sermon entitled "Sitting in the Ashes, Looking to the Lord," which has been included above.  The text for the evening was Job 1:6-2:8, and this sermon ushered us into the second section of our "All Things New" sermon series—"The Patriarchs."

 

What is Lent?

The 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness are the basis for the 40 days of Lent, the period preceding Easter Sunday, the highest day of the Christian year. The season of Lent was established in the fourth century, not long after the Council of Nicaea (the same council that gave us the Nicene Creed). The first day of Lent is Ash Wednesday; in 2020, Ash Wednesday is February 26.

The final day of Lent can differ depending on one's church tradition and whether you are referring to the Lenten Fast or the liturgical period of Lent. The liturgical period of Lent ends during Holy Week on the evening of Maundy Thursday.

Lent, like the season of Advent, is a time of preparation, marked with fasting, praying, cleansing. It is an opportunity to meditate upon and redeclare our full dependence on God. As mortals, we are nothing more than dust, dependent on God for our every breath. He alone, through Jesus Christ, provides the means for our salvation as well as the faith and ability to live the life to which He has called us. 

Life is busy and filled with distractions of all kinds that can and do get in the way of our worship of our awesome God. Lent encourages a focused effort at laying aside these distractions and a reorientation back to the way that we have been called to live, not just during the season of Lent, but at all times.

 

A Lenten Devotional—2020

Each Friday of Lent, this devotional guide invites us to focus on an area of life where it is a challenge to remember our dependence on the Lord. We will assess our habits of dependence in a world of resources and reacquaint ourselves with Christ’s sufficiency.

You may pick up your copy of A Lenten Devotional—2020 at either of our Welcome Desks or access a pdf version through the button below. 

A Lenten Devotional—2020 ›

 

The Lenten Fast

It is traditional to fast from food during the season of Lent. To foster a spirit of unity, Calvary is inviting the congregation to fast each Friday during Lent, as a means of reminding ourselves of our dependence on the Father who called us to Himself and gave us His Son. Feel free to choose another day of the week to fast if Fridays do not work well for you. If you are unable to fast from food, we invite you to abstain from some other meaningful item or practice.

If you would like to learn more about the practice of fasting, we encourage you to watch Pastor Gerald's message from our 2019 Lenten Service, entitled "Fasting in Order to Love."

Watch the 2019 Lenten Service Message ›

 

The Christian calendar offers a sustainable rhythm of which Lent is a part, and the fasting of Lent gives way to the feasting of Easter. Fasting and feasting are interconnected disciplines that teach us to love the King and his coming kingdom. In Lent, we learn to confess our sins, practice self-denial, and take on the humility of Christ. In Easter, we learn to rejoice, exult, and feast in Christ's victory.

—Aaron Damiani