Lent

ABOUT LENT

The word "Lent" comes from the Middle English "lente" (springtime) and the old Anglo-Saxon word "lengten" (the time when days grow longer). It is the holy springtime of our souls, a time for preparation, planting and growth.

Throughout history, the season of Lent was a time of preparation for the celebration of the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and ends as we begin the Triduum of Holy Week (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday). The mood is one of penitence and reflection — a time to meditate prayerfully on the meaning of Christ's suffering and death for our salvation.

 
By the second century, Christians were preparing for the festival of Easter with a two-day fast. In the third century this was extended to all of Holy Week and, by the first Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D., a forty-day period of fasting was being observed. Originally, this period seems to have begun on the sixth or seventh Sunday before Easter and lasted until Holy Thursday; Sundays may or may not have been included. It took until the sixth century for this to be sorted out. Historically, the season of Lent was developed as a time of fasting, recalling the forty-day temptation in the wilderness after Jesus' baptism.
 
The Lenten period always had — and still has — an emphasis on baptism, for it was the period when new Christians were prepared for their baptism at the Easter Vigil. It is a time for us to affirm who we are — and Whose we are.

WHY 40 DAYS?

The 40 days of Lent correspond to Jesus' fasting 40 days in the wilderness during which He was tempted by Satan.   The number 40 is of special significance in the Old Testament as well:  
  • Moses spent forty years as a prince of Egypt, 40 years as a shepherd in the desert, and 40 years as a servant of God; he also spent 40 days with the Lord atop Mt. Sinai, neither eating nor drinking, after which God gave him the Ten Commandments on tablets of stone.
  • Elijah fasted for forty days and forty nights after Jezebel swore to kill him.
  • Noah and his family  were safe in the ark when it rained for forty days and forty nights.
  • The Israelites wandered forty years to the promised land
  • Jonah gave the citizens of Nineveh forty days to repent.  And they did!
 
THE HOLY DAYS OF LENT
  • Ash Wednesday – the first day of Lent in Western Christianity
  • Laetare Sunday – The halfway point from Ash Wednesday to Easter
  • Palm Sunday – Marks the beginning of Holy Week.  The crowds paved the way for Jesus with palm branches as He rode into the city.
  • Holy Week – The last week of Lent before Easter
  • Maundy Thursday – Thursday of Holy Week when Christians commemorate the Last Supper
  • Good Friday – The day of Christ’s crucifixion
  • Holy Saturday – Depending on denominations, the Easter Vigil begins at sundown on Holy Saturday or at sunrise on Easter morning.

The Lutheran observance of Lent is commemorative as well as penitential. We regard this season as a time of special spiritual opportunity to contemplate the Passion of Christ, a time of self-examination and repentance, and a time of growth in faith and grace. While it is a somber time of remembrance, it is also a time for joy and rejoicing, for we are saved through the death and resurrection of our Lord.
 

 
LENTEN  DEVOTIONS
 

Centuries before Christ, God was preparing the way for His Son’s arrival. From mankind’s original sin through the children of Israel’s on-again, off-again obedience, God was faithful, honoring His promise to Eve (Genesis 3:15), which first pointed to Jesus. In People of the Passion, you will see God working through the lives of ordinary people to achieve His ultimate aim; our salvation. There are prophets, priests, and kings, servants, soldiers, and civilians — each with a role in the high drama of Christ’s passion. You may see yourself in some of these people — ordinary individuals who, like us, need a Savior.

Click on the date below to read or listen to the day's devotion from Lutheran Hour Ministries.   Link should open in a new window.
 

Wed., March 6 Thurs., March 7 Fri., March 8 Sat., March 9 Sun., March 10
Mon., March 11 Tues., March 12 Wed., March 13 Thurs., March 14 Fri., March 15
Sat., March 16 Sun., March 17 Mon., March 18 Tues., March 19 Wed., March 20
Thurs., March 21 Fri., March 22 Sat., March 23 Sun., March 24 Mon., March 25
Tues., March 26 Wed., March 27 Thurs., March 28 Fri., March 29 Sat., March 30
Sun., March 31 Mon., April 1 Tues., April 2 Wed., April 3 Thurs., April 4
Fri., April 5 Sat., April 6 Sun., April 7 Mon., April 8 Tues., April 9
Wed., April 10 Thurs., April 11 Fri., April 12 Sat., April 13 Sun., April 14
Mon., April 15 Tues., April 16 Wed., April 17 Thurs., April 18 Fri, April 19
Sat, April 20 Sun., April 21 Mon., April 22    


 


God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him might have eternal life. ~ John 3:16