“What are you giving up for Lent?”
Have you heard that yet this month? I haven’t because I come from a religious tradition that doesn’t really talk much about Lent. So it’s interesting to me that people make such a big deal out of it.
The word “Lent” comes from the Old English, “lencten," which means “spring," so it’s all about the season of new life that follows the dead of winter. But the church co-opted the Lenten celebration of new life in order to build anticipation for Easter - partly because this is actually the time of year when Jesus was living out his last days, but it is conveniently (or intentionally, perhaps?) symbolic of many other things as well.
So, on one hand, the Lenten part of the church calendar seems like a no-brainer, but on the other hand, maybe not. If the 40 days of Lent are all about growth and new life and abundance, why do we celebrate it by giving things up? Did you ever wonder why that is?
I hope so, because that’s what we’ll be talking about every Sunday for the next five weeks running up to Easter. The ideas behind Lent are at the center of nearly every important concept in the Bible and Jesus spent over three years walking and talking and teaching about those ideas. This was clearly important to Jesus, and, as his followers, it should be equally important to us.
So, join us this Sunday (2/21/16) as we begin digging deeper into the relationship between Lent and Easter, between abundance and sacrifice, between life and death.
Lookin' forward to it!
Message title: LIVE4JESUS
Main Scriptures: Matthew 10:39, Luke 5:33-39
Questions/thoughts for group discussion or personal reflection:
- What's your favorite season, and why?
- If you give stuff up for Lent, why? If not, why not?
- This series is called DYING2LIVE. What does that make you think of? Does it seem primarily positive or negative? What do you think the series will be about, mainly?