For too many of us, Lent is merely a season of more fried fish and less chocolate. It is a time reserved for Catholics and dieters, but out of bounds for us of the Baptist persuasion. But in our neglect, I think we are missing out on a fantastic opportunity to think deeper on our faith. Pastor Tim Keller once noted that there are two truths you must understand in order to grasp the grace of God in salvation – 1) how lost you are, how dire your condition is, how big the debt is and 2) the sufficiency, freeness, and fullness of the provision in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ for you. Simply put, we must understand the enormity of our debt due to sin and the enormity of the payment Christ made on our behalf. And in a world where such truths are so out of place that they are offensive, a season of designated reflection can be exceedingly helpful. Lent is just such a season, where we join with Christians throughout the world and think deeply on the depths of our sin and the depths of Christ’s work. Here are a few practical ways you might make much of Christ in this season of Lent:
- Fast: abstain from something you will notice, something that “satisfies” you, and in its place feast on the Word of God and the Eternal Word Jesus Christ. (Ex. A meal, a type of food/drink, a device, a habit or hobby, etc.)
- Read the Bible: Read through a Gospel in a different translation. (Ex. New Living Translation, Holman Christian Standard Bible)
- Memorize the Bible: Think deeply on and memorize a passage of Scripture. (Ex. Eph. 2:1-10; Rom. 8:31-39; Matt. 5:3-12; Phil. 2:5-11; Titus 3:3-8)
- Pray: Devote extended time to prayer. (Ex. Start a prayer journal, walk your neighborhood praying for others, pray for a church, ministry, school, or business)
- Serve Others: In your home, in your community, in the church. Look for a need and seek to meet it. Use your gifts & think outside the box.
- Study: Read The King’s Cross by Tim Keller
- Events: Take advantage of activities, studies, & events during the season. (Ex. Men’s & Women’s Lenten Breakfasts, Good Friday Service, etc.)
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 13th. Remember to fast throughout the week and feast on Sundays! You might check out the sermons on Feasting & Fasting from November 2012 (www.fbccville.org). Don’t forget to encourage your families, friends, and others to join you in worshiping our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ in this season!
(This article was one I submitted in a church newsletter)