Lent begins on March 2nd (Ash Wednesday), and for millions of Christians across the globe, this marks the start of a special time of spiritual renewal and reflection. Inspired by the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert before beginning his ministry, many give up a specific food or habit for 40 days as a way to reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross before they celebrate the joy of his resurrection.
But in addition to fasting and prayer, giving is also an important part of the Lenten tradition. And whether Lent is part of your spiritual practice or not, there are many ways you can spend this time before Easter preparing your heart for the greatest act of generosity in history.
Here are a few resources to consider:
- A companion guide for Lent – While the observance of Lent is optional, the three biblical disciplines of giving, prayer, and fasting practiced in Lent are not. Thankfully, the Bible instructs believers how to engage in these practices. This resource from Global Trust Partners explores scriptural guidance about these traditions alongside thoughts from saints throughout history.
- Reliving the Passion, by Walter Wangerin – This book is for those who want to get close enough to the st0ry of Jesus’ last days on earth to feel them. The stories are told in ways you’ve never heard, with words that make you see the story in ways you never have. And each day’s devotion brings you back to a direct love response to Jesus.
- Father Mike Schmitz: What should I do for Lent? – If giving things up for Lent always seems a bit hollow, this article will give you a fresh approach to planning your Lenten disciplines. Beginning with the goal in mind – becoming more like Jesus – Father Mike’s practical advice on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving is focused on helping you become the person God is calling you to be.
- Don’t be a consumer. Be a disciple: A free daily Lenten experience with Matthew Kelly (free daily video devotions with email) – If you’ve ever followed Matthew Kelly’s classic BEST LENT EVER daily devotions, you’ll be excited to learn that this year there will be two videos emailed each day. These short, practical, inspiring messages each represent a pathway designed specifically to meet you wherever you are on your spiritual journey.
- A Lenten Gospel reading plan – Biblegateway.com has a plan to get you through all four Gospels before Easter. Read the story of Jesus from four perspectives as you prepare your hearts for the celebration of the one act that made salvation possible for everyone.
Of course, you can also use your cell phone to set alarms to remind you to pray, to meditate on Scripture, and to look for opportunities to give during the Lenten season.
We hope you’ll join us as we prepare our hearts for Jesus’ resurrection!