in its twelfth year of publication, Trinity Project's newsletter has been around
almost as long as the Trinity Project itself, although under a variety of names. It features original
articles by our church leaders plus information
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Feature article for February 2009:
By Zach Bayer
In the Western Church, we often neglect things that we think are traditional or unnecessary. The season of Lent is one of those things that we neglect, and by doing so fail to recognize the spiritual formation that can take place as we enter into this season of soul-searching and repentance.
Lent originated in the very earliest days of the Church as a preparatory time for Easter, when the faithful rededicated themselves and when converts were instructed in the faith and prepared for baptism.
The season of Lent is a time for reflection and taking stock. By observing the 40 days of Lent, the individual Christian imitates Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for 40 days.
Lent begins on Wednesday, February 25th. We call this day Ash Wednesday. The season culminates during the week before Easter, which is called Holy week.
Easter is one of two days a year where people attend a church service. Often times, even with those who are followers of Christ, we don’t enter into the story of what the resurrection of Christ means. The season of Lent helps us to live in the story for seven weeks, leading to the celebration of Christ’s resurrection. Living in the story helps us to appreciate the sacrifice of Christ.
Traditionally, people fast from something during the season of Lent. Often it is something that is difficult for them to give up, helping them to remember the sacrifice of Christ. Hopefully we will begin to understand the sacrifice of Christ for the redemption of all creation.
This isn’t something we do out of obligation, or religion, or any other reason except to embrace the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This isn’t something we have to do, but rather something we get to do.
Participation in Lent through fasting, prayer and preparation for the day of resurrection is not an end in itself, but rather a means to an end. It is a means to help us grow into the image of Christ.
In the next few weeks, we will continue to look at who Jesus is, and what his life looked like. We will learn more about what it looks like to follow Christ in the season of Lent. As a community, my hope is that we will embark on a journey together, a journey with Christ, a journey to the cross, a journey to resurrection and new life. May we enter the story, participate in the journey, be led to the cross and rejoice on Easter in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.