As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
— Psalm 42:1-2
What Is Lent?
Lent is the forty days leading up to Easter, not including Sundays (during which we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection!). For the Church, this season is a time of reflection, repentance, and renewal. Many followers of Jesus find it helpful to fast during Lent. Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, is Wednesday, February 26th this year.
What About Fasting?
Fasting has been misunderstood in many ways. Fasting is not:
Proving our spiritual worth by how much we can “suffer”
Giving up sins or bad habits (we should be giving up those things anyways)
Trying out a new diet (going on a low-carb diet is not the same thing as fasting).
When we fast, we take a step back from a good gift of God (for example, food!) in order to seek the Giver of those gifts. When our stomachs growl from hunger, or we feel fidgety from a media fast, we are reminded that our greatest hunger should be Jesus Himself. Dr. Bill Bright of Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) offers several other wise insights into why we should fast.
As Richard Foster writes:
Fasting must forever center on God. More than any other Discipline, fasting reveals the things that control us.
Simply put, we fast so that we can make more room in our hearts for Jesus.
As we withdraw for a time from some good gifts of God during this season, we also encourage you to draw near to the Giver intentionally through spiritual disciplines.
During this Lenten season, we encourage you to pray, fast, and give. Below you can find some Lenten resources (right-click to save PDF files):
The Lent Generosity Challenge
What if Lent was about giving out instead of giving up? This Bible plan is an adaptation of the full 40acts challenge. Our hope is that as you explore and practice biblical generosity in all areas of your life, you would experience its transformational impact. Each day contains a prompt for one act of generosity on that day’s topic, with Sunday reflections summarising the theme of the acts that week.
Journeying With Jesus
‘Journeying With Jesus’ is a Bible plan to help us walk with Jesus through the last two chapters of Matthew. We stop to focus on Jesus’ last days on this earth and what that means to us. How does that change who I am and Whose I am today? We will take time to dwell on Scripture and “bring it home” with questions that make us consider where we are on the journey of knowing Jesus.
Here is a simple Daily Readings for Lent 2020 from our denomination.
If you didn’t have a chance to pick one up, you can either find a hard copy at an Anchor City Sunday worship gathering, right-click on the JPG image above and save, or download the PDF file here.
Seeking & Celebrating Jesus!
We encourage you to break your fast on Sundays. We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus each Lord’s Day, and breaking the fast weekly reminds us that it’s not primarily about our self-discipline, but celebrating the Risen King of grace and life.