by Kristin Huffman, Mission Advocate
Today (February 22) is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. Originally meaning “springtime,” Lent is a season in the Church calendar that spans the 40 days (not including Sundays) between Ash Wednesday and Easter. While on earth, Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness being tempted by Satan. It was a time of preparation for Him before He began public ministry, and the 40 days of Lent can be a time of preparation for us, too, as we approach Easter.
Many churches around the world will host Ash Wednesday services that offer participants a time of confession and contemplation. At the end of the service, the priest or pastor will mark an ashen cross on the foreheads of attendees, reminding you that “from dust you came, and from dust you shall return,” (Genesis 3:19).
Some churches teach that it is appropriate to “give up something” for Lent. Prior to the Reformation in the 16th century—when Protestants separated from the Catholic Church—Lent was celebrated as a special time of prayer and fasting. After the Reformation, when fasting became unpopular, the tradition of giving something up during Lent continued to be encouraged as an act of self-sacrifice. For some, giving up a bad habit or establishing new rhythms in life can serve as a great way to focus on Christ throughout Lent.
One of the ways we can focus on Jesus during this season is to engage in various spiritual practices and exercises to help make space in our lives for God. Some of these are derived from ancient practices, while others are new or adapted. Frontier Fellowship is excited to offer a series of posts throughout Lent that invite you to participate in such spiritual practices. We pray that this series will provide opportunities for you to reflect and contemplate God’s faithfulness through Jesus, and also serve as a tool by which you deepen your understanding of—and love for—the world’s least-reached peoples.
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