Even though I’m not Roman Catholic I get religious about eating a paczki (or two) on Fat Tuesday to kick the lent season off right. (I’m far less religious about giving up beef on Fridays). Sadly I went to Meek’s Bakery today and they were closed because of the snow storm. But if you’ve never had a pazki, you’re missing out.
Also, I would say if you don’t have plans for lent, you’re missing out. Practicing lent is not biblically mandated so I’m not saying you should practice lent with any kind of biblical “should.” I would simply say you’re missing out on a helpful practice to be formed by the cross. The world is trying to form us into its pattern (Romans 12:1-2) and lent is a particular season to push against the current and be formed by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
Lent is a season to be formed by the cross.
Lent is a season of preparation and prayer.
Lent is a season of repentance and renewal.
Lent is a season of self-denial and discipline.
Lent is a season to give up distractions from Christ and focus on Christ.
The word “lent” comes from the old-English word for “Spring.” Lent is the 40 days in the traditional church calendar that precede and anticipate Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday (aka Easter). Sundays are not considered a part of the 40 days because it’s the Lord’s Day, a day of celebration. The number 40 comes from the 40 days of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4).
KCC doesn’t have a major focus on lent. We don’t have an Ash Wednesday service. But we will have a Good Friday service. I’m simply encouraging you to prepare your heart for Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday by fasting from something that distracts you from prayer, or that has become an unhealthy pattern for you. I’d also encourage you to replace it with a spiritual habit that helps you seek the Lord, such as a lent devotional, or memorizing a portion of scripture, or taking a regular prayer walk, or one of the other suggestions below. Our family takes a break from watching TV and movies for the 40 days of lent and find it to be a joyful sacrifice (though not always easy with little kids).
Here are some lent resources I appreciate: