As a multi-denominational church, we have people who grew up with Ash Wednesday and Lent as central to their celebration of Easter, and people who make jokes about giving up cleaning out their bellybuttons for Lent. I grew up in the latter camp, but I am learning to appreciate the former.
For those of us who find Ash Wednesday and Lent a little strange, here’s an article to fill in the blanks, followed by an article that balances why people may or may not want to take up the practice.
Each year, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. Often called the Day of Ashes, Ash Wednesday starts Lent by focusing the Christian’s heart on repentance and prayer, usually through personal and communal confession. Here’s what you need to know about this significant holiday.
By Kelly Givens
Each year, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and is always 46 days before Easter Sunday. Lent is a 40-day season (not counting Sundays) marked by repentance, fasting, reflection, and ultimately celebration. The 40-day period represents Christ’s time of temptation in the wilderness, where he fasted and where Satan tempted him. Lent asks believers to set aside a time each year for similar fasting, marking an intentional season of focus on Christ’s life, ministry, sacrifice, and resurrection.
Read the rest of the article here.
By Trevin Wax
Some younger evangelicals appreciate Lent as an opportunity to implement a spiritual discipline that has a long history within the various wings of Christianity (Catholic, Orthodox, and many Protestants observe this time of reflection).
Other evangelicals believe Lent has the potential of leading us back into the bondage of perpetual penitence and rituals common to Catholicism, to which the Reformers rightly reacted.
You can read this article here.