Let’s do Lent!

Lent is not mandatory for Christians. Do not feel obligated to participate. But if you are looking to grow in worship, your relationship with Christ and experience a more meaningful appreciation of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, then we highly recommend participating in this Lenten season.

By Chad Allen, CVC Lead Pastor

Let’s do lent!

No, not the kind we find in our dryer.  Lent comes from an ancient  word meaning “Spring” and is a special season of 40 days (excluding Sundays) of preparation for Easter.

One of the reasons that Christmas is special is that we experience the birth of Christ as as season. We do not just wake up Christmas morning and say, “oh yeah, it’s Jesus’ birthday”. We build anticipation from the end of November to early December as we get closer the day we celebrate the birth of Christ, especially for those who practice Advent.

In the same way, we have the opportunity to approach Easter as a season.  The life, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Instead of waking up one day and saying, “Oh yeah, it’s Resurrection Sunday,” let’s take a step back and make a worshipful and reflective run at the most meaningful days on our physical and spiritual calendar.

As a community  of people who believe that there is a new life in Christ, engaging Lent can help breathe new life into our worship of Christ during this unique and meaningful season.

Key Thoughts on Lent: 

  • Lent is about Christ-centered sacrifice not self-centered spirituality.
  • Lent is about intentionality not religiosity.
  • Lent celebrates God’s grace it doesn’t earn God’s grace. 
  • Lent is about worship, not works. 

As you consider how you might engage be season of Lent, keep in mind your motive and heart.  We are reminded of the words of Jesus in John 4:23:

“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.” John 4:23

We need to enter into worship and holy practices with authentic and heartfelt motives to draw close to Christ.  God hates–yes, a strong word–hates empty, vain and insincere religious behaviors (Amos 5:21-24; Isaiah 1:11-17).  So remember whatever you do, or don’t do, let Christ, and what pleases Christ be your motivation.  

Whether you are an experienced “Lenter” or a newbie here are a several ways you can engage Lent this year:

  • download/print out the Lent Guide to Fasting for readings, prayers, journaling space and specific fasting challenges to help guide you.   FYI- this guide has Scripture readings that will provide a great compliment to our “I Am” teaching series starting this Sunday.

  • for families , use this guide (or another similar one) with your kids each week for  dinner devotionals to help create a sense of “season” for them around Easter.  You can also decorate or use creative ideas to make sure this holy season doesn’t get overshadowed by a bunny and eggs.  Having a hard time coming up with ideas, sit down and have a “Pinterest- fest” to help 
  • come to Ash Wednesday Prayer to kickstart your Lent season on March 1st.
      As we approach Easter, our desire is experience God. Ash Wednesday prayer allows us begin a heartfelt preparation to enter into Christ’s historic passion week. Join us for a time of prayer, seeking the Lord together, as we engage this holy season at Cuyahoga Valley Church. Childcare will be provided 7-9PM.
  • intentionally give up/fast from distractions or vices that clutter your life and keep you distant from Jesus, as well as add/increase disciplines and devotional habits that will help you simplify and grow in your faith and draw closer to Jesus.
  • start a reflection and repentance journal out and journal each day with a more focused time of prayer– writing down prayers, confessions, observations, praises that focus on your gratitude for Christ’s death & resurrection.
  • increase your worship music intake at home, work, or in the car. Create a playlist! Have worship music themed around the cross and resurrection playing. It’ll help you draw into a place of prayer and worship.

Lent is not mandatory for Christians.  Do not feel obligated to participate.  But if you are looking to grow in worship, your relationship with Christ and experience a more meaningful appreciation of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, then we highly recommend participating in this Lenten season.

Lent Guide to Fasting