Ash Wednesday is now upon us, which means that Lent begins today and Resurrection Sunday (Easter) is only 46 days away.
A friend and church planter in Annapolis recently communicated the following to his church about Lent and the grace of God. I think Pastor Donnie is spot on with this assessment about WHAT we fast from for the Lent season (and the underlying WHY)::
the Lord is concerned with your heart… I don’t think the Lord cares one bit that you give up steak, facebook, bread, or anything else if you aren’t willing to give up the deeper weights on our soul. So consider giving up anger, resentment, bad thoughts you’ve been harbouring, a competitive attitude, a know it all spirit, unthankfulness, or something else that you’ve allowed to become part of your life but goes against the nature of Christ.
The context around this quote is centered upon the fact that all the Lent “giving up” and all the resources for celebrating Lent will amount to very little if you and I are not willing to live repentance and believe the Good News of Jesus the King. The fasting and feasting in the Lent season is a journey of rhythm and re-calibration to the Gospel of Jesus.
Here are a few FREE resources that the Elders at Remedy Church have discovered as helpful in our Lent journey in searching for rhythm with God::
+ Youversion Bible app::
This is the best Bible app on the interwebs that is interactive (add highlights and notes to the Scriptures, share passages via social media or text that are impactful, seamlessly move between various Bible translations) and truly fun to use.
+ Lent For Everyone by NT Wright::
This is an excellent Lent devotional reading guide by NT Wright which follows the Gospel according to Matthew in the daily readings (plus it is free through the youversion app).
+ A Hunger for God by John Piper::
This is a free ebook by John Piper which explains the purpose of the spiritual discipline of fasting (and points us toward Christ as we hunger for God).
+ Common Prayer: Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne
Praying the “Daily Office” is a concept as foreign to many of us, as fasting during Lent… but this prayer book (free on their website) will give practical help in learning this ancient way of prayer.
May your fasting during this Lent season lead to a deeper reliance upon Christ, a greater sensitivity to His sacrifice, and a hunger for God’s love. And may you seek the cadence of a Kingdom movement.