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Should We Observe Lent?

Lent resources are popping up all over the place on Christian sites at the moment. This season is now under way. Our church doesn’t do Lent so things like this still feel very new to me. For a few years now, on and off, I’ve been following the church calendar in my Bible reading programme. I found a book Ancient Future Time by Robert Webber, which aims to introduce the church year to a new generation of evangelicals. Reading it gave me the idea of incorporating into my Bible reading, the lectionary – the plan of Sunday Bible readings that is traditionally used in churches.

I can fully understand those who might cock a snoot at the traditional calendar, especially when some churches follow it too rigidly and it is associated with routines that some find boring. Yet now I find the lectionary is something that I love to dip into and explore. I like Jonny Baker‘s phrase: that he thinks of traditions like these as a ‘sort of dressing up box’. I am finding the church year gives a rhythm to my devotions that I can use and enjoy as much or as little as I want to.

Lent is about a lot more than just ‘giving something up’. But it is not to be approached legalistically. I don’t believe that we have to pray, read the Bible, give or fast at Lent more than any other time. But I think there is something powerful when the focus of our Bible reading becomes more communal. I am finding that Lent is giving me an opportunity to join in with the devotions of many other Christians across the world as I dip into these resources during this season.

What do you think?

Further Reading

When I originally posted this three years. Scott Lencke suggested this link:
New Covenant Lent by Internet Monk

February 28, 2012 at 6:00 pm
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