Lent starts today. Are you observing lent? What is lent? What is the purpose of lent? How long is Lent? Should Christians observe lent? and how should Christians observe lent?
What is Lent?
Lent is the period of forty(40) days, about six weeks of fasting and praying for Christians. It has been linked to the accounts of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, in commemoration of the period of fasting of Jesus Christ in the wilderness before his temptation and the beginning of his ministry. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and it ends on Easter Sunday.
It is a season where many Christians deny the flesh, give up food and water, with the hope to connect with God through prayers, repentance of sins, atonement and giving of alms. Not all denominations participate but the Anglican, Roman Catholic, Calvinist, Lutheran, Methodist, Orthodox, Anabaptist and some Evangelicals participate in the season.
What is the purpose of Lent?
Its main purpose is to deny the flesh of its luxuries in participating in the suffering of Christ which leads to the death, the burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ accounted for in the New Testament of the Bible. Christs’ suffering started on the night he was arrested, beaten and tortured before his crucifixion and his death on Good Friday. All of these leads to a joyful celebration of Easter Sunday.
Is Lent compulsory for all Christians?
Lent is not compulsory for all Christians. In fact, it is not mentioned in the Bible but it is linked to the Bible verse instructing Christians on how to fast and pray(Mathew 6:16-18). Many Christians who observe lent participate in a traditional culture established by the church at Rome during the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325, when Emperor Constantine officially recognized church as the Roman Empire’s state religion.
What is the duration of Lent?
Lent is for a period of forty days.
What Should a Christian give up for Lent?
Many Christians give up food and water during the day and they break their fast usually in the evening.
What should I do during Lent?
During Lent, many Christians fast and pray. Some Christians commit to reading the whole Bible during this period. Other Christians commit to reading a devotional to help them get closer to God. Some denominations use The stations of the Cross devotional, Many Roman Catholic and some Protestant churches remove flowers from their altars, while crucifixes, religious statues, and other elaborate religious symbols are often veiled in violet fabrics in solemn observance of the event. Throughout Christendom, some adherents mark the season with the traditional abstention from the consumption of meat, most notably among Roman Catholics – Wikipedia.
Christians who observe lent must not do it as a religious exercise but as a way to build a closer relationship with God. It must be done with humility before God and in sincereness of heart. Lent should be a time to humble the heart, purify the heart and the mind from its lustful desires. It must be a time to reflect, repent and pray to God in preparation for a lifestyle of holiness.
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