40 Days: A Season of Observing Lent through Fasting and Prayer

March 1, 2017  |  Riccardo Stewart

By Riccardo Stewart

I am often asked by people both within and outside our church why we observe the season of Lent. Does it even matter? Rather than reinventing the wheel, I’d like to point you here to an article from Christianity Today that I think might be helpful. But for now, here are a few of my quick thoughts.

The season of Lent is one of tension, somewhat of a paradoxical period, that gives the Church an opportunity to simultaneously hold brokenness and beauty…life and death…darkness and light—together, without becoming unnecessarily cynical or overly optimistic.

As we observe the Lenten season, we are reminded that we can be both honest and hopeful about the world in which we live because of the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We can be honest about our own sin, the sin of others, and the damaging effects of sin on our world. And at the same time, we can be hopeful for both present and ongoing forgiveness, restoration, and healing—for ourselves and all of creation.

In connecting with many brothers and sisters in Christ around the world and throughout the centuries, we will be observing Lent this year by participating in 40 days of intentional prayer and fasting—both individually and communally. Lent will begins today (March 1st) on what is known as Ash Wednesday and it will conclude on Maundy Thursday, which is April 13 (for those who are doing the math, note that Sundays aren’t included in the 40 day count).

For more great resources during the season of Lent, visit the links below: