What is Lent? Lent begins on Ash Wednesday where we recall Jesus’ sojourn in the wilderness followed immediately after his baptism. The church has, for centuries connected the wilderness experience as the beginning of Lent and thus, became ﬁrmly attached to Easter, as the principal occasion for baptism and for the reconciliation of those who had been excluded from the Church’s fellowship for apostasy or serious faults. This history explains the characteristic notes of Lent – self-examination, penitence, self-denial, study, and preparation for Easter, to which almsgiving has traditionally been added.
In churches across the world today, ashes are an ancient sign of penitence; from the middle ages it became the custom to begin Lent by being marked in ash with the sign of the cross. The calculation of the forty days has varied considerably in Christian history. It is now usual in the West to count them continuously to the end of Holy Week (not including Sundays), so beginning Lent on the sixth Wednesday before Easter, Ash Wednesday.
‘ I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy word.
Today, CNI is inviting you to join with us in our Lent Achol Challenge. Why not consider joining us as we walk the path together to learn what is means to grow in love? Each Sunday to fit with the readings in church, I will be publishing some thoughts on the Gospel reading. Each day, I will be sharing a verse from Proverbs and a thought to challenge and inspire.
Be part of this new and exciting initiative!
National Director of Development.