Lent is a season of spiritual renewal that prepares us for Easter. It lasts forty days and reminds us of Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness (it’s actually the forty-six days before Easter, but Sundays in Lent are not counted). For followers of Christ, all life should be characterized by devotion to him. Lent, however, is an opportunity to give focused attention to soul care. The Old English word, Lent, means spring. Think of it as a sort of spiritual spring cleaning or spring training (go Astros!). It’s a season for sharpening our spiritual senses so we might grow in our knowledge of the Lord.
Throughout the 2018–2019 ministry year at City Church we’re focusing on knowing God. J.I. Packer has said that “Knowing God is a relationship calculated to thrill a person’s heart.” It’s not only our greatest privilege to know God, but it should also be our greatest pleasure. How, then, do we come to experience more of this in our lives? Our series for Lent is designed to give us practical tools to do just that.
The Apostle Peter describes spiritual growth in terms of knowing Jesus: “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). Lent is a time to grow in our knowledge of who Jesus is, what he came to do for us, and how we can receive the benefits we have in Christ.
God has given us tools—disciplines to use to cultivate that knowledge—such as meditation, prayer, the Eucharist, and worship, as well as acts of service, generosity, and mission. As mere religious activities these can feel empty or even quite burdensome. Properly understood, however, they’re disciplines of grace, tools through which the Lord meets with us, nourishes us, and strengthens us. Our growth from first to last is by God’s grace, and we play an active role as we “continue to work out our salvation,” knowing that as we do so it is the Lord who is at work in us (Philippians 2:12, 13). Nourished by his grace, we’ll find our hearts thrilled in our knowledge of him.
Please take a moment to invite someone to join you this Sunday. Text or email a digital invite card.