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What is Lent?
Growing up as a Protestant Christian, I experienced Lent as little more than a joke. “What are you giving up for Lent?” my friends would ask.
“Homework,” I’d say with a smirk, or “Obeying my parents.” Lent was one of those things that my Catholic friends had to worry about—another great reason to be Protestant, I figured. It never even occurred to me that Lent was something I might actually be interested in or benefit from or decide to keep or come to value as a way of getting to know God better. In the last fifteen years, I’ve learned that Lent is in fact recognized by millions of Protestant Christians, in addition to Catholic and Orthodox believers. Personally, I’ve discovered that observing Lent helps me grow in my relationship with God. It prepares me for a deeper experience of Christ’s death on Good Friday and also for a more joyful celebration of his resurrection on Easter.
How to Use This Lenten Devotional
This Lenten devotional has been prepared by leaders and writers associated with Foundations for Laity Renewal (including Laity Lodge, Laity Lodge Youth Camp, Laity Lodge Family Camp, Foundation Free Camps, Outdoor Education, and The High Calling). Our common purpose is to help you grow in your relationship with God during the season of Lent. For each day of Lent, we have written a daily devotional that is based on a passage of Scripture. We have suggested questions for reflection and offered a model prayer. Of course, you are free to follow the Spirit’s leading in your reflections and prayers. This devotional is meant for individuals, families, and small groups. You might want to use it for your personal devotions or for family worship or as a prayer guide in a small group. No matter the context, we hope that you will encounter God through the power of his Word and the presence of his Spirit.
The Theme of This Devotional
This devotional includes 46 reflections, one for each day in Lent, plus a special P.S. for Easter. Though our writers and I have shared from our unique perspectives, we have all sought to express a common theme: Knowing Jesus Better. Some of the daily entries focus on the parables of Jesus. Others explore the events of his last week. Several reflections are based on Old Testament prophecies or New Testament texts that reveal the meaning of Jesus. Through the diverse voices of our writers and the diverse passages of Scripture, we seek to lead you into a deeper, truer, and more vital relationship with Jesus Christ. Seven hundred years ago, a man living in a small village in southern England offered a simple, heartfelt prayer. This prayer has inspired millions of people throughout the centuries, not to mention a popular Broadway musical (Godspell). As we seek to know Jesus better in the season of Lent, I can think of no better prayer to inspire us than that of St. Richard of Chichester
Thanks be to Thee, my Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits Thou hast given me, for all the pains and insults which Thou hast borne for me. O most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and Brother, may I know Thee more clearly, love Thee more dearly, follow Thee more nearly, day by day. Amen.
Senior Adviser Theologian-in-Residence Foundations for Laity Renewal
TheHighCalling.org seeks to create opportunities for Christian leaders to encounter God through new media tools for the transformation of daily life, work, and our world. Christian leaders are in all aspects and activities of daily life—including home, community, leisure, as well as occupation.
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