When we practice Lent in the spirit of Jesus, it’s not about making God happy, looking spiritual, or repeating empty traditions. It’s not a power move or a forced march. Jesus and the cloud of witnesses show us that Lent is about Jesus – and, therefore about love. The Holy Spirit uses fasting, prayer, and generosity to satisfy us with God’s Fatherly love. As a result we are moved to share that love with others. And that is history worth repeating.
What a great text and study on Lent. I in the past have had mixed feelings about Lent but this text has clearly shown how biblical Lent really is and how beneficial it is for our spiritual maturity. The history of Lent is important for us to grasp as it will help us see the value of Lent for our heart and how we love.
The text comes in the parts. The Case for Lent, The Path for Lent. and Leading others through Lent. The Path for Lent was helpful in that it discussed how we may fail with good intentions. What was encouraging was that failure always leads to the Gospel and the Gospel is centered around Lent. I for one have the mind-set that I will fail to deny something or anything and in doing so, miss the work of Christ in changing my heart to be more like His.
Another aspect of the text that I found encouraging is Liturgy. I now attend a church that practices Liturgy. This is how the author explains the beauty of Liturgy. Liturgy means “the work of the people”, and Christian liturgy is a series of scripturally based prayers that proclaim the gospel and help us participate in it. It exposes our need for the Lord and the beauty of redemption.
Some of the quotes that I found encouraging
When we give way to excess, injustice follows close behind.
The ambient culture has confused the meaning of freedom, which no doubt affects the way many of us understand it. In the Scriptures, Jesus is the Lord who sets us free to love God and neighbor. Fasting helps us participate in that freedom. But in the modern West, pleasure is the Lord who is said to set us free to consume our neighbor and God for that matter.
When we confess our sin and receive forgiveness, we experience both sides of the gospel.
Lent is much more than giving up desires but revealing our greatest need. I highly recommend this book for all Christians.
A Special Thank You to Moody Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.