Lent is the period preceding Easter, which is most often associated with fasting and abstinence in commemora-tion of Christ’s fasting in the wilderness. In the Western Church it runs from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday,and so includes forty weekdays. If you’re like most, Lent is not perhaps something that you are entirely familiarwith, as most Protestant churches do not observe it. Many of us hear the word “lent” and think of giving some-thing up, an exercise in deprivation. But Lent is not about scarcity; it’s about preparing us for more. It is aboutcreating the opportunity for worship to happen.
An example that might help you to understand what we mean is the idea of going to sleep. Literally, there isnothing physically we can do to make ourselves sleep, but we can create the environment where sleep can happen…comfy bed, warm blanket, ocean wave sound machine, etc. As we train our bodies to relax in this environment, sleep comes.
So, with Lent, the idea is to look at this as an exercise of discipline, that we create the environment where encountering God can happen through the shifting away from the world through fasting, and mindfully preparingour hearts to meet with the Lord. THIS is why we wanted to write a devotional book for the Lenten season and what we hoped youwill get out of it.
The word liturgical means the work of the people. A pastor can only do so much, but a congregation must meethim somewhere to be engaged in the worship. Worship is not a passive process, where one simply receives, butwhere one also spurs on others to help encourage growth. We can all look at the same passage of scripture, andthrough our own unique encounters with the Lord and our personal histories, each of us would have a differentperspective on the very same passage. Sharing those unique perspectives is what stimulates growth within thebody. The writers of this devotional have all been part of the Maadi Community Church family; though somehave moved on to new locations, we are all still connected being part of the same family of Christ.
We have divided the weeks into seven key words, themes that explore what God’s Word does in our lives, congregations, and world. In God’s Word we see where he creates, calls, commands, saves, sustains, shapes, and sends,and thus, our seven themes represent each of these bigger ideas of what God’s Word can accomplish in our lives.
Each week will begin on a Sunday, with a day of rest and reflection. Please take the time to read about theweek’s theme and meditate on what that might mean in your life.
The remaining six days are composed of devotionals and questions to think about for that day. There is a specialfamily devotion each week where the activity and questions are geared towards engaging the entire family(though this can easily be done each for each day anyway).
We hope and pray that you are able to prepare your hearts and meet the Lord in a time of sweet worship duringthese next few weeks. Share your experiences with us on our Facebook page and let us know how we can encourage and pray for you.
The Lenten Devotional booklet is for sale at MCC for 10Le. which covers the cost of printing.
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