The Book of Common Prayer states,
“Lent is the forty-day season of reflection and preparation for the death and Resurrection of Jesus. It is a time of repentance, of considering Christ’s sufferings and rethinking how we are called to take up our own crosses.”
Raised Southern Baptist, I was never brought up adhering to the liturgical church calendar. “Lent should be viewed as an extra-Biblical human tradition… Baptists define the activities of the gathered church solely on the basis of New Testament authority” (src) Some “Roman Catholics continue to believe that Lenten good works (penance, voluntary fasting, self-denial, alms-giving) are performed for purification.”(src) We as Baptists and as believers should know that nothing we do can make us worthy of salvation. “For it is by grace [we] have been saved through faith; and that not of [our]selves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)
I believe that Jesus is so much greater than religion. We all too easily become entangled in our own traditions and made-up rules. Over time the rules are treated as equal to or greater than rooted biblical theology. Disunity in the church too often stems from arguments that don’t have anything to do with love for one another or salvation. We are called to pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another. Romans 14 addresses this.
That being said, I don’t believe any day is greater than another, but I do find the idea of gearing our hearts and minds towards Christ and the resurrection appealing. We are not bound to restrict this to forty days nor are we mandated to fast or dawn ashes on our head. We may have different practices or opinions, but we must make sure that whatever we do we do it for the honor of the Lord and that we follow what the Holy Spirit is convicting us of doing.
This year I want to focus the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart to what Christ has done for me through His death on the Cross and Resurrection. Call it lent, call it what you like, but I am spending the six weeks before Easter embracing a season of stillness, quietness, and reverence. I’ve decided to give up my mornings, and wake up at 5 AM to study the Word. Those of you that know me know how important sleep is to me, so this is definitely a sacrifice. 🙂 I’m following along to She Reads Truth‘s Lent Study. I welcome you to join me.
The Bible encourages us to meditate on His Word. Matter of fact, here are 55 verses on mediation in scripture.
What are your thoughts on lent and tradition? If you are practicing it, what are you giving up or adding to help you focus on the Word and on Christ? Are you following a devotional or reading certain scriptures? Share your thoughts with me! I love to read them!