Lent Season 2018
During Lent, the Christian Church traditionally fasts both to make room for God and to starve the part of our lives that lives on lust. If we’re honest, we are often driven by lust for possessions, money, pleasure, and status. So in the Lent season, we starve that part of our lives to show that God provides a better way.
Lent is the 46-day period in the Church calendar between Ash Wednesday* and Easter. It’s meant to be a time for confession, repentance, grief, fasting, and meditation on Scripture — preparing our hearts to celebrate resurrected life with Jesus on Easter.
This year, we as a church will keep the Lent tradition in three ways:
The first way will be worshipful at Sunday gatherings through our sermon series, “Life Without Lack.” From February 18th through March 25th, we will teach through Psalm 23, verse by verse, every Sunday leading up to Easter.
Our second way of keeping the Lent tradition will be communal during the week. To support our Sunday teaching, our Community Groups will offer CG Material each week that reflects on Sunday’s passage and invites us to fast from, or quit, something together in order to grow closer to God.
Our third way of keeping the Lent tradition will be through individual Scripture memorization. From now until Easter, we’d like to invite you, church, to spend ten minutes alone each morning, memorizing** Psalm 23 and meditating on it. (And so we’re unified on Sundays as we recite it together, please use the NIV 2011 Translation – verse 1 ends in, “I lack nothing.”) On the value of memorizing Scripture, Author, philosopher, and theologian Dallas Willard once said:
“Memorization is an essential element of a life without lack. It is a primary way we fill our minds with the Word of God, and have our thoughts formed by God’s thoughts. Memorizing Scripture is even more important than a daily quiet time, for as we fill our minds with great passages and have them readily available for our meditation, ‘quiet time’ takes over the entirety of our lives. Memorization enables us to keep God and his truth constantly before our minds, and God’s Word and wisdom are able to help us.”
Through Sunday worship, communal practice, and individual devotion, we hope to live into the reality that, in God, we lack nothing and have everything we truly need.
* Ash Wednesday (February 14th) is the the day that the Church begins Lent season by remembering our mortality.
**Here are a few tips to help you memorize Psalm 23 (adapted from The New City Catechism):
- Download this photo of the Psalm 23 passage to keep on your phone.
- Create a repeating morning event in your calendar, Monday-Friday, with the text of Psalm 23 in the notes section.
- Read the passage out loud, and repeat, repeat, repeat.
- Read the passage out loud, then try to repeat it without looking. Repeat.
- Record yourself reciting the passage and listen to it during everyday activities such as workouts, chores, and so on.
- Write the passage on a card and tape it in a conspicuous area. Read it aloud every time you see it.
- Write out the passage, and repeat. The process of writing helps a person’s ability to recall text.
- Practice reciting the passage with another person as often as possible.