The practice of a 40-day preparation period began in the Church church during the third and fourth centuries. The number 40 carries biblical significance based on the 40 years Israel spent in the desert and Jesus’ 40 day fast in the wilderness. The 40 days of Lent begin on Ash Wednesday and continue to Easter, not counting Sundays, Sundays are considered feast-days, like mini-Easters.
Lent is a season in which we especially focus on examining our hearts, confessing our sins, and reflecting on the significance of Christ’s death. Think of it as sort of “Spring cleaning” of the soul - you need to sweep and clean all year round, but you might have a concentrated deep cleaning at special times of year.
This Lenten Season, how will you open yourself up to God so that He can renew you?
MPC Lenten Practices and Suggestions
Ash Wednesday - A day of repentance and recommitment to Jesus. If you are unable to attend an Ash Wednesday service, consider setting aside an hour dedicated to confession, prayer, repentance, and recommitment to Jesus. It is a day to remember God’s incredible love and mercy for you and his people.
Wednesday Lunch Fast & Mid-day Prayer - Each Wednesday in Lent we invite you to fast with us from lunch to pray and spend time with the Lord for 30 minutes. The MPC Sanctuary is open for prayer from 11:30am-12:45pm or feel free to take time to pray right where you work and live. Click here to see a guide on fasting from food and a prayer guide online.
40 Day Fast or Self-Denial - There are many exhortations in Scripture to “put off” and “put on” certain things that help you live more faithfully to Jesus (i.e. Eph 4:22-24). Ask yourself: What will I stop doing this season because I am a beloved child of God? And what will I start doing because God loves me in Christ? Giving up something is not a way to “earn” anything from God, but rather a way to learn to curb your appetites and focus more completely on Jesus as your true source of life.
Prayer, Scripture, and Self-Reflection - Create a new or different habit of prayer. Read through a Gospel. Read a lenten devotional or book. Take solitude time each day for journaling and reflection.
Community - Lent is not just about personal renewal, it’s also about community renewal. Pray for our community to draw closer to Jesus in this season. Consider embarking on your lent journey with a friend or your family. Spend time together talking and praying about what new thing God is calling us to do and be.