Tardy to the Lenten Party?
Weeks have gone by, and the vague sense that I’m missing out on something important in the Christian calendar persists – but mostly in those hazy hours between waking and sleeping.
And so, at the halfway mark, I’m going to stop telling myself that I’ll “do it next year” and instead, I’m going to observe Lent for its final 20 days. After all, every day that we choose to be just a little more still, just a little more intentional, just a little more surrendered to Jesus, can bring about enormous and lasting transformation.
Here's More About Lent
Lent literally means “springtime,” and is tied to the lengthening days – let there be light! – and the season of budding trees and baby lambs. We’re leaving behind winter, darkness, and maybe even some of our creature-comforts and self-soothing habits to instead embrace new life.
Historically, “Lent” is the 40-day period leading up to Easter in which Christians prepare themselves to fully celebrate the resurrection of Jesus by adding a new practice or discipline to their daily lives, or by abstaining from a specific activity, food, or habit. It’s out-of-the-ordinary and so, it’s a tangible way to turn your heart back to Jesus, and to focus on the spiritual rather than the earthly.
The traditions or practices vary greatly – many include specific fasts, but I’ve also heard of people doing acts of kindness, or praying Scripture daily – but the goal is always to come to Easter with a tender, repentant heart, ready to see our risen Savior, Jesus, with fresh eyes.
For more details on Lent, read this blog from a few years ago by Andrew Kim, Teaching Pastor at Troy Campus.
Here's A List of Resources
Kensington has several resources to help you personally prepare for Easter during this season of Lent. This year more than ever before, we feel that tug on our hearts to really dig in this season and quietly reflect. Check out this list to help you on your Lenten journey to Easter – even if you’re starting it today like me
Current Series: Personified
Instead of having Good Friday and Easter as isolated services, we are currently in the middle of a seven-week series that focuses on the humanity of Jesus. It’s been so powerful to consider his final days leading to the Cross and the very real human emotions He felt as someone poured out a beautiful love-gift of perfume on his feet and another someone in his inner circle of closest friends betrayed him for pieces of silver.
If you missed a weekend service or want to re-watch one that moved you, you’ll find all of them on our YouTube channel. Get the most out of services by downloading our Discussion Guide for personal or group reflection. You’ll find the orange button near the top of our website’s homepage.
Coffee Convos on Facebook
Cliff Johnson, one of our Teaching Pastors, has been hosting Coffee Convos on Wednesday mornings at 9am on Facebook. He and his wife, Angela, are bringing humorous stories and profound insights on the previous weekend’s teaching. If you’ve missed any of them, check them out now on Facebook. Next week, Coffee Convos will feature the upcoming Move Out Gathering, but the Johnsons will return on March 24.
Lenten Prayer Journey on Social Media
Every morning – Monday through Saturday – of Lent we’re sharing a daily prayer from a notable individual of faith on Facebook and Instagram Story. These prayers have been carefully chosen to help start your morning with reflection and a posture of surrender. Not on social media?
RightNow Media Bible Study
We asked our Discipleship Staff for a RightNow Media Bible study for Lent, and they selected the two-session study, Good Friday and Easter by Francis Chan. In these two brief sessions, Francis Chan invites us to reflect on Jesus’ death and resurrection and challenges us to live differently because of His victory over death.
The videos are powerful yet under 15 minutes – check them out here.
Don’t have RightNow Media yet? Get your free subscription at kensingtonchurch.org/rightnow-media.
Good Friday & Easter Services
Whether you ‘do’ Lent or not, please join us for our Good Friday and Easter services – in person or online. We’d really love to have you there and the story of Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice and victory over death is personally relevant and hope inspiring (whom could you invite?). Free tickets will be available starting March 14 at kensingtonchurch.org/easter.
If you’re someone who tends to only celebrate Easter Sunday and not Good Friday, consider that the light really only dazzles when the darkness has been experienced. So even if Good Friday seems solemn or uncomfortable, remember the Cross also represents the ultimate act of love for you and me. Let’s not shy away, because the redemption – new life – is only experienced fully in the context of death.