Lent begins Ash Wednesday, March 1, and ends on Holy Saturday, April 15. These 40 days are a season each year to prepare ourselves for the Resurrection. Remembering our humanity, our brokenness and our need for Jesus, reflecting on Jesus’ deep love for us and the heartbreaking journey of Holy Week prepares our hearts for the joy of Easter. (Sundays aren’t included in those 40 days and are always celebrated as feast days, reminding us of the joy of the resurrection.)
Sometimes, people “take on” or “give up” for Lent. “Taking on” disciplines or habits like scripture memorization, increased prayer, giving and acts of mercy. “Giving up” distractions or excesses like social media, clutter, sweets, alcohol, extra spending. These commitments aren’t meant to cause suffering for suffering’s sake, but to draw a person closer to Jesus, to depend on God for every need and remember how easily we can crowd God out with distractions. Lent is a time of stripping away, learning more about who we are and more about who Jesus is.
Download the full lent-guide-2017 (Word doc) with ideas for all ages.
About the image: detail from An Orange-Headed Ground Thrush and a Death’s-Head Moth on a Purple Ebony Orchid Branch by Shaikh Zain al–Din (1778, India). Public domain.