Lent is the six weeks leading up to Easter. It starts with Ash Wednesday (6th March) and finishes on Easter Sunday (21st April). It is often a time when people fast (give something up).
You may have heard during our Joel series that we’re using Lent this year as a ‘trumpet call’; a time to prepare and to focus on God.
Firstly (and importantly) what Lent is not.
Lent is definitely not about earning spiritual ‘Brownie points’. We are saved by God’s grace alone and nothing we do – not even participating in Lent – can add anything to that.
So why bother?
- Lent is about focussing on God, and that is never, ever, a bad thing
- Recalibrating is part of modern life. We do it with the tyres on our cars, with our apps, printers, SatNavs, etc. And a time where we focus on God is a simple yet vital way of recalibrating ourselves towards Him
- Giving something up (especially something we love) demonstrates to God (and to ourselves) that He comes first. That out of all things in our lives, He is number one
- It is about preparing ourselves (individually and together) for however God wants to bless us in the months ahead.
So here are five things you can do during Lent:
- Give something up. Chocolate. Coffee. TV. Social media. Broccoli (not really!) It will be different for us all. But find something you love and give it up for Lent. Every time you don’t do it, you are saying, “God, you mean more to me than this.“
- Read the bible. Part of us focussing on God during this time is about committing to His Word. We recommend finding a study guide or an app to help you. If you don’t know what to choose, you can sign up to receive daily emails based on 40 days of reflections on The Beatitudes from the Church of England. We’re also giving away paper copies (while stocks last).
- Pray. Often. If you’re following a study guide or an app during Lent (see the suggestion above) they will often include prayer suggestions. But whatever you do, try and find times and places during Lent to talk with God.
- Be generous. Jesus’ life was characterised by love and generosity. So throughout Lent, how about looking for simple ways you can show love and generosity to those around you? For ideas, take a look at the 40 Acts website.
- Meet with others. Lent (in fact, life in general) is tough on your own. So join with others as often as possible. In addition to our usual services, we’re putting on several different services and events throughout Lent, starting with three services on Ash Wednesday. Visit our calendar for details.