Five ways to experience Lent

February 25, 2020

I grew up thinking the four major days of the church year were Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. They were certainly the days that seemed to receive the most excitement and attention.

Since my childhood, however, I have been exposed to and studied many different traditions of worship, and I find that we often miss out on some wonderful worship experiences when we eliminate many of the significant days from the traditional church calendar.

Feb. 26 is Ash Wednesday this year. This marks the beginning of the season of Lent which is a 40-day period focused on prayer and preparation to celebrate Easter. Lent culminates with Holy Week, beginning the Sunday before Easter and leading up to Easter Sunday.

The Sunday before Easter is Palm Sunday, or Passion Sunday, and celebrates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The Thursday before Easter is Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday and remembers the Last Supper. Good Friday is the day that we commemorate Christ’s death on the cross. Finally, Easter Sunday is a great day of celebrating the resurrection.

We often miss out on some wonderful worship experiences when we eliminate many of the significant days from the traditional church calendar.

Lent has traditionally been marked by penitential prayer, fasting and giving. Some churches today still observe a rigid schedule of fasting on certain days during Lent, which is often accompanied by giving up meat, sweets or other types of food.

Oftentimes, I give up something during Lent. And, what I have discovered is that every time I crave the item I have given up, I think about the reason I am giving it up and focus on the suffering and death of Jesus. It is amazing how much this helps me focus and prepare for Easter.

In my opinion, Easter is an even greater celebration when we truly experience Lent. Yet for many who have never been exposed to the “real” church calendar, the idea may seem somewhat foreign.

Here are some ways to help you experience Lent. If this is your first year experiencing Lent, prayerfully consider just one or two things. Some ideas may give you thoughts to consider for next year.

  • Do a Bible reading plan with a friend.
  • Do a family devotional each day.
  • Fast from something in order to focus on prayer and seeking God.
  • Give sacrificially to those in need – thought, money, time, energy or gifts.
  • Drive in silence. Spend your morning and evening in prayer.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is adapted from a blog post by Kenny Lamm, senior consultant for worship and music for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Read more of Kenny’s writings on the Renewing Worship blog.

by Kenny Lamm  Renewing Worship  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

Statement on the release of SBC Sexual Abuse Task Force report

Todd Unzicker, executive director-treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, released the following statement today (Sunday, May 22, 2022) following the release of the SBC Sexual Abuse Task Force report.“Today’s release of the SBC Sexual Abuse Task Force report...

3 training options to offer worship ministry certification

Worship leaders can now pursue further equipping through three training options offered in partnership between N.C. Baptists, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Fruitland Baptist Bible College. The training provides worship leaders with the understanding and tools to...

Caraway celebrates 60 years of ministry and memories

North Carolina Baptists joined forces in July 1962 to cultivate a powerful new tool to help churches reach and disciple more people — Camp Caraway. Now, decades later, the camp continues to serve N.C. Baptists and will celebrate its 60th summer this July. Situated on more than...

How leaders can bridge generational gaps in Asian American churches

Many Asian American churches provide spaces for Asian immigrants to continue worshiping similarly to how they did in their home countries. They offer a familiar community and a home away from home. What can often be overlooked, however, is the cultural gap between immigrant...

On death and dying, as it relates to churches

In 1969, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a Swiss-American psychiatrist, wrote the classic book On Death and Dying. This work, chronicling lessons she learned with terminally ill patients, outlined the five stages that all people go through as they near death. Beginning when they are...

4 symptoms to watch for when assessing pastoral health

In preparation for this article I confess I did Google, “How to know if a pastor is healthy?” The number of articles, blogs and sites addressing the increasing issue of pastoral health did not disappoint. After all, we are hopefully coming out of the most difficult time of...

Fisher retires after 36 years at Caldwell Association

Dale Fisher received quite the surprise on his 70th birthday. Not only did ministry colleagues serenade him with a rendition of “Happy Birthday” during the N.C. Associational Missions Conference in early April, they also recognized Fisher for his long tenure of service in leading...

The power of a name: God’s faithfulness in mental health

If I have learned one lesson this year, it’s that there is power in a name. When we give our struggle a name, we are able to better distinguish truth from lie and work toward healing. Naming opens the door to freedom and sheds light on truth that can feel uncomfortable, exposing...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!