Lent is something most people don’t even think about except when it’s all over their clothes. This however is not the Lent I want to talk about here.
Traditionally, Lent is the penitential preparation of the believer—through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial. For many orthodox churches and denominations it is the annual commemoration of Holy Week, marking the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events of the Passion of Christ on Good Friday, which then culminates in the celebration on Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Lent lasts approximately six weeks leading up to Easter. In most Western denominations Lent is taken to run from Ash Wednesday to Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday) or to Easter Eve.
Though many churches emphasize Lent leading up to Easter, I find that the beauty and power of this season is mostly lost to the average believer. Most believers today in western culture do not practice things associated with self-denial. The understanding of meditation, solitude, reflection, repentance, prayer and fasting are not regular habits. These things were a part of the early church life. I believe we need to find our way back to some of these, not as a religious or legalistic practice, but rather a way of seeking God and away of relational engagement with God.
One of the things I have chosen to do through this Lenten Season is to read short chronological portion a scripture leading up to Easter. I am obviously now in the middle of do so and wish I had thought to share about it earlier. But here we are. This has proven to be so rewarding to me. Much of my time in the scripture is study related to my teaching and preaching. This has been an awesome break to just focus on Jesus and my relationship with Him through a short daily meditation an His journey to the cross.
I love to find simple tools to use in my daily life. One of these is www.youversion.com. You can find more information about Youversion in the resource tab at the top of this page. Youversion is a free Bible application for your PC/Mac or Mobile Device. It is unique in that while you can read scripture in most any version or language, you can also contribute your own thoughts in the form of text notes, links and videos as a part of a community commentary on verses, and passages. Its like asking everybody, “So what do you think?” and then sharing your thought on the subject.
Youversion has an awesome feature for daily scripture reading with a variety of reading plans to choose from. The one I am currently following is the Lent Reading Plan. But there are so many others that would suit whatever you might be looking for.
I use this app every day and highly recommend you take a look at it.