Is Lent Still Relevant Today?

Andrew Kim

Andrew Kim

Troy Campus Teaching Pastor

We are officially a couple of weeks into Lent. Depending on your spiritual background or church upbringing, you may have different thoughts and feelings when it comes to this Christian tradition. For you, maybe Lent kicks off the hype and excitement surrounding Easter, or maybe Lent is a time for fasting and sacrifice. Or maybe you’re sitting there thinking, “What is Lent anyway, and why is it a big deal?” Wherever you fall on the Lenten spectrum, I think I can shed some light on why Lent is still relevant today.

What Is Lent?

First, it’s important to understand the significance of Lent. The word Lent comes from the Latin root meaning “to lengthen.” It’s the 40-day period prior to Easter, excluding Sundays, that begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes on Holy Saturday (the Saturday before Easter). On Ash Wednesday, many Christians embark in the tradition of receiving ashes on their foreheads as a reminder that we were made from dust, and to dust we shall return. The ashes remind us that we are but fleeting flowers in a field, here today and gone tomorrow—but we have hope in the resurrection of Jesus!

ash wednesday

Although Lent is not found in the Scriptures, many Jesus followers choose to participate through practices such as reflection, repentance and prayer as a way to prepare their hearts for Easter. As we are about a third of the way through Lent, it is not too late to jump in on this season of self-reflection as we recognize our need for a savior. For me, Lent is a time to open my heart a little wider so when we arrive at Good Friday Easter, it is not just another day at church but an opportunity to receive the overflowing grace, hope and love of the risen Lord.

Here are a few ways you can engage in Lent to prepare your heart for Good Friday and Easter.

1. Give Up

The most common discipline that people engage in during Lent is fasting. Some may give up certain types of food (dessert, meat, etc.). Others may give up a habit or behavior such as caffeine, social media or TV. In past years, I have given up coffee (incredibly painful), soda and Facebook.

Fasting is a powerful discipline because when we deny ourselves something we desire, we are saying there is something more important in our lives than that thing. During Lent, we are declaring that God is more important.

When we fast, we are also reminded of God. On certain days I can go through the day without thinking much about him. But whenever I have to fight the temptation to indulge in something I have chosen to give up, it reminds me of Him, His sacrifice, and His reality in our lives. The year I gave up coffee, I was reminded every morning and really all throughout the day of this powerful truth.

jesus saves

2. Give Out

During Lent, you can also choose to give out. Jesus gave us everything on the cross, so this season can be an opportunity for us to give to others. What if during Lent we committed an intentional act of kindness every day? What if we asked God to help us see those around us that we could love, serve, and be generous toward? Imagine how powerfully that would reflect the message of the cross to those around us.

3. Give In

Some commit to a daily devotional activity during Lent. This often includes reading a short teaching on a Scripture passage or topic every day and then spending a few moments in prayer. A great devotional that we would like to recommend is a Lent reading plan on the YouVersion app. It brings together quotes, readings and Scripture to help you focus your mind on Christ.

bible study

Even though Lent is not a “requirement” for Jesus followers, millions every year choose to participate. It is not too late to jump in, so if you have yet to participate this year, we would love for you to join us. If you do, I know you will be amazed as to what occurs in your life as you choose to spend a portion of every day intentionally focused on Jesus.

No matter where you are in the process, I hope to encourage you to take a step towards preparing your heart and mind on Jesus during the journey to Easter.

andrew kim
-Andrew Kim, Troy Teaching Pastor

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Birmingham Campus

We are offering a time for our congregation to gather after the 10am service for prayer in the Groves Auditorium, 20500 W 13 Mile Rd, Beverly Hills, MI 48025.

On Sunday evening, Dec 5, parents of high school and middle school students are invited to the second half of our Edge gathering at Genesis Church, 309 N Main St, Royal Oak, MI 48067, at 6:15pm. We will have a breakout to equip parents in caring for themselves and processing pain with their children in times of tragedy.

Parents & Student Resources

Parents – self care is critical. It’s important to do your own processing with another adult so that you can be more present as your child processes. Here are tools that you can use to get you started.

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Counselors Are Needed After Tragedy

“The aftermath of the Oxford shooting tragedy will undoubtedly result in traumatic symptoms and experiences across our communities for quite some time. Healing the brain through evidence-based therapies is absolutely possible with clinical guidance. There is a valuable village of Trauma Therapists with collective resources standing by for Oxford, for both direct and secondary survivors to engage in therapy. Until then, we honorably hold a sacred space, as students, families, staff and school partners continue to mourn.” -Laura Azoni, LMSW, Founder of Sanctuary Services

Orion Campus

We believe that unity at this time is more important than ever. Several churches in the area are partnering together to offer space for students to begin the process of healing.

We will have several grief and trauma specialists on site this Sunday evening at our Orion Campus (4640 S Lapeer Rd Lake Orion, MI 48359) from 5-6:30pm and will have a night of prayer, worship and an opportunity for students to process with each other.

Tate Myre Funeral:
Monday, 12.6 Visitation 1 to 8pm
Tuesday, 12.7 Visitation 10-12pm and funeral at Noon

Clinton Township Campus

We will be offering a time for our congregation to gather after each service for a time of corporate prayer in the Greatroom. Prayer will be offered at 10:15 am and 12:15 pm. (25000 Hall Rd, Charter Twp of Clinton, MI 48036)

This Sunday at 3:30 pm as a community we want to gather, pray and mourn together. We are all looking for answers and wondering why tragedy happens but we can find hope and peace in Jesus. 

Troy Campus

Join us Sunday night, December 5th for a Community Prayer Vigil at Kensington Church at 6:00 pm. Invite friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers to come together for a time of hope and prayer. 

Following the Vigil, at 7:00 pm, there will be breakouts for students and for parents to process and be equipped in caring for themselves and those around in times of tragedy.

Marriage Classes

What grows marriages? Focusing on the two of you and being in community!
The Marriage Course includes seven sessions, designed to help couples invest in their relationship and build a strong marriage. Some couples do the course to intentionally invest in their relationship, others are looking to address more specific challenges. Either way, the course offers essential tools and practical ideas to help you build a relationship that lasts a lifetime. The Marriage Course is based on Christian principles but designed for all couples with or without a church background.

Please email marriage@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

Financial Peace University (FPU)

Financial Peace University (FPU) is a catalyst to help people live in financial freedom and enable them to have a posture of openhandedness. We have witnessed numerous Kensington families experience life change as a result of applying Biblical truths to their personal finances. The real blessing is seeing people create lives of margin that allow them to hear and respond to the Lord’s calling on their lives.

Please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

Bible Basics

Whether you are brand new to the Bible or have been reading it for decades, Bible Basics is a course that will help you understand the overall flow of the Bible. Over the course of several weeks, learn how the Bible came from the original writers to the English versions we have today. We’ll look at the big-picture story of the Bible and how all the individual books add to the whole. We’ll even learn a little about the history of the Jewish nation. But most of all, we’ll grow in our awe of the amazing author of this amazing book!

Please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

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Alpha

What is my purpose? What value does the Bible have in my life? How do I pray? How can I grow in confidence to share my faith? These are the big questions that are at the heart of what it means to have a relationship with God. Alpha is a space to explore life’s big questions, to say what you think and to hear other people’s points of view. Over ten-weeks you will explore and discover while listening to weekly topics, participating in table discussion, and developing community. Alpha courses meeting in-person gather around a meal.

You don’t have to come for the whole series—just check it out for the first session and see what you think. No pressure.

Please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

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For additional questions, please contact giving@kensingtonchurch.org or call 248.786.0637

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Together Again

updated June 23, 2021

It’s been life-giving to be in-person for our weekend services since last July when we reopened. If you haven’t yet, we invite you to join us in person sometime soon.

Reservations and ticketing have been discontinued at all our campuses.

Masks are optional at all services, events, and ministry gatherings for kids, students, and adults. We know that everyone needs to make the right health decisions for themselves and their family, so if you feel comfortable removing your mask, you may. And if you’d like to continue wearing a mask or face covering, you may do that as well. This is a personal choice that only you can decide what is best for yourself when attending in person at Kensington.

If you are sick, are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or have possibly been exposed to COVID-19, please plan to stay home and participate in our services via our many online streaming options.

At the start of the pandemic, Kensington’s Executive Team commissioned a group of staff members as a COVID Task Force to establish protocols and procedures for the safety of our church community. Thanks for sticking with us throughout all the changes and adjustments over the past 15 months.

We’re grateful to be together again!