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The Season of Lent

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The church has historically focused the 40 days leading up to Easter (mirroring Jesus’ 40 days of temptation in the wilderness in preparation for his ministry) on three aspects of discipleship: prayer, fasting, almsgiving.


Commit to a specific exercise for these 40 days; a predetermined time of day, a written or memorized prayer, the use of the Psalms, connecting prayer with a specific activity.

For example, what if you vowed to pray for “feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15) every time you put on your shoes?


Commit to a specific discipline of self-control; abstain from a particular food for the duration, regularly give up one meal, avoid one of your regular leisure activities.

For example, what if you let the drama of your favourite TV shows unfold without your observing eyes for 40 days?


Seek opportunities to serve others, so that your fasting and praying do not merely become inward practices but an outflow of God’s loving Spirit on others.

For example, encourage others through words or actions (1 Thessalonians 5:11), like volunteering with an organization whose purpose you are passionate about.

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1 comment

Richard Peachey March 1, 2014 - 13:00

Prayer is commanded and encouraged throughout the Bible. Fasting is not commanded although it is exemplified in the New Testament. And charitable giving is strongly encouraged by Jesus, Paul, and James.

But nowhere does the New Testament in any way recommend keeping of a “church calendar.” There is no “season of Lent” in the New Testament. Indeed, the apostle Paul very firmly exhorted the Galatian Christians regarding their tendency to focus on such calendrical traditions: “You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.” (Galatians 4:10f.)

Why must Anabaptists be pushed in this state-church-inspired liturgical direction?


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