New Roots Lenten Season Experience 2024

Week 1 // Wednesday, February 14, 2024 - Tuesday, February 20, 2024

What is the Lent that God would have you/us observe in this season?
To answer this question, there are some other questions that we may want to consider first.

  1. Q:  What is Lent?
  2. Q:  When is Lent this year?
    • A:  Lent begins on Wednesday, February 14, 2024 (Ash Wednesday) and ends on Saturday, March 30, 2024 (the day before Easter, also known as Resurrection Sunday).
  3. Q:  What is the meaning of Lent?
    • A:  There are many possible answers to this question. Here is one to consider. Perhaps you have a response to this question from your own experience. Just as we set aside time to spiritually prepare for Christmas Day, it makes sense to set aside time to prepare for the two most important days of the Christian year - Good Friday and Easter. …  Lent is a time to open the doors of our hearts a little wider and understand … [God] a little deeper so that when Good Friday and Easter come, it is not just another day at church but an opportunity to receive the overflowing graces God has to offer.
  4. Q:  What are some examples of how to observe Lent?
    • A:  While some examples of how to observe Lent are given below, the answer to how you are to observe Lent at this time is one that is dynamic and it may be different than these examples. Being intentional about your observance and spending time in spiritual discernment regarding how to observe Lent in a way that is meaningful to you is the goal.
Here are some examples of how to observe Lent.
Here are some of the key elements of the Lenten season and some of the symbolism that comes with it. Many of these practices can be celebrated both individually and as a community:
  •  Purple: Like Advent, the official color for Lent is purple. Usually, churches that celebrate Lent choose the deepest, darkest shade of purple for this special season. …
  • Confession: … Lent is a penitential season or expressed sorrow and repentance...  A … way to start an examination of conscience is by praying Psalm 139, verses 23-24: "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
  • Fasting and Prayer: Fasting is a practice that … can be a powerful time to renew your relationship with God. Fasting can be found in both the Old Testament and the New, with Moses (Exodus 34:28; Deuteronomy 9:9,18 ), Elijah (1 Kings 19:8), and … [Jesus] (Matthew 4:2) all participating in 40-day fasts. Fasting is a way of denying ourselves the excesses of life so that we might be more attuned to the …  voice [of God]. It is also a way of disciplining yourself, strengthening your "spiritual muscles," so to speak, so that when temptations arise in life, you are already used to saying "no" to your desires. And finally, fasting is also a way of participating, in a small way, in the sufferings of Christ and can be particularly powerful when accompanied by prayer and confession.
  • Meditating on Christ's Sacrifice for … [Humanity]: In addition to periodic fasting and prayer, our scriptural meditations typically turn to the salvation offered to us through Christ's suffering. Read Old Testament Scriptures prophesying the suffering of Christ and the New Testament Gospel accounts.
  • Charity/Almsgiving: A very important element of the Lenten season is becoming aware of not only the suffering and sacrifice of Christ but also the suffering of others. … [How can] you … increase your giving to those in need? It could be through extra financial offerings, donating goods you no longer need or use to charity, or increasing your personal time commitment to a ministry or cause close to your heart.
Invitation: Make this Lenten season experience personal.
  1. Engage in individual practices that reflect who you are and/or that are informed by how you connect with God.
  2. Engage in practices with others as well (e.g., family and/or friends, church community)
  3. Share from your resources and/or experience with others in helpful ways.
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