Lent - A Growing Season
Why Lent? The word “Lent” comes from an Old English word meaning “to lengthen” and was originally used to refer to the lengthening days of spring as the light of day grew longer and the darkness of night grew shorter. The word was picked up by Christians to describe the period of 40 days leading up to Good Friday and Easter, also a time of lengthening days as the darkness of sin and death gives way to the light and life of Christ’s rising from the dead.
Historically, the Christian church used the 40-day season of Lent as a time of baptismal preparation in which new Christians were trained and educated in the Christian faith prior to being baptized at the Easter Vigil. Here at St. John’s, one of our new disciples’ classes each year falls during the season of Lent as we teach and prepare new disciples’ for life in our congregation. In this way, we share in the historic practice as a season of baptismal preparation.
Growth is needed, however, not just for those preparing to be baptized, but also for those already baptized. Baptism calls us to daily dying to sin and a daily rising to new life in Christ. The season of Lent invites all the baptized to enter into a season of intentional growth and preparation. We grow as we participate in worship, both on the weekends and on Wednesdays. We grow as we intentionally find ways to serve those who are in need. We grow as we commit ourselves to daily Bible reading and increased times of prayer. We grow as we daily confess our need of God’s grace and return to the waters of forgiveness in our baptism.
The vision of our congregation calls us to grow in meaningful relationships with Christ, with each other, and with our community as we are gathered for worship, equipped for discipleship, and sent to serve. The season of Lent gives us a wonderful opportunity to more fully live into our vision as disciples of Christ. Why Lent? It is the growing season and Christ calls us to daily grow in our faith and discipleship to him. Together, let’s grow in Christ!