One of the most important days on the Christian calendar is Easter. We remember the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and celebrate the truth that without it, Paul reminds us, “our preaching is in vain and our faith is in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14 ESV). If the resurrection and remembering the resurrection are essential, how do we pause, reflect, and engage with this good news?
In some church traditions, people have used the church calendar to connect to the story of the Bible more deeply. Though this may be foreign to you and your past church experience, your family could pause to engage with the message of Easter by observing the season of Lent.
What is Lent? Lent is a 40-day time beginning with Ash Wednesday (March 2) and ending with the Thursday before Easter (April 14). It is modeled after Jesus’ time of fasting in the desert found in the Gospels, where He set aside time to seek God and grow deeper in His relationship with the Father. Lent is intended to be a time of reflection and grief about our sin and the brokenness of our world. This season is broken by the great celebration of Easter with a resurrected Jesus who conquered sin and death and will come again to make “all things new” (Revelation 21:5 ESV).
How would pausing for Lent strengthen my family’s faith? Taking time to pause would allow your family to seek to connect with God in this season intentionally. As Jesus went to the desert to commune with God, we create a place of desert in our own lives and families. We give up some things to create a space for God to speak to us and for us to commune with Him. We choose to adjust our family priorities for a season to remember our need for God and to prepare to celebrate God’s great rescue of us.
What are some practical ideas on how to celebrate Lent? As a family, decide something that you will give up to connect more deeply with God. You could give up the extra TV show, desserts at dinner, or get up a few minutes early to add a family prayer time or Bible study. There are also several family Lent devotionals online which may be helpful.
In this season of preparation, let us journey into the wilderness to be reminded of who we are, our need for God’s grace, and experience the power of the resurrection this Easter Sunday.
Missions Minister at Christ Church Birmingham
Writer and Speaker