Lent is traditionally described as lasting for forty days, in commemoration of the forty days which Jesus spent fasting in the desert before the beginning of his public ministry, where he endured temptation by Satan. It begins with Ash Wednesday and concludes on Maundy Thursday.
The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer for the season of Easter when we remember the death and resurrection of Jesus. Lent is a season of self-discipline, practised through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial. During Lent, many Christians commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence. It might be the usual chocolate, but it could also be a game or a television programme, meat or other foods, time on the internet, or on Facebook or other social media – but it should be costly, and the discomfort used as a prompt to pray. The practice of fasting also highlights the celebrations of the Easter season by contrast.
But for many, Lent is also an opportunity to do something positive as a spiritual discipline … over the past few days we have posted a number of ideas, suggestions and opportunities for you to mark Lent. Why not use the comment option to let us know what you are going to do this year? And if you comment, we can pray … for you, for your relationship with God and his son Jesus Christ, and for the church you are part of to share in the blessing of your commitment.