Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent! In many Christian traditions, Ash Wednesday is a day of reflection and repentance. You might even see a few people tomorrow with the symbol of the cross drawn on their foreheads in ash—a common practice in Ash Wednesday worship and prayer services. (Your church might be hosting just such a service!)
While Lent is widely observed throughout the global Christian church, it isn’t as well-known in evangelical circles as it is in Lutheran, Catholic, and other denominations. To help you think through Lent—and decide whether or not to observe it in some way—here are some short articles we’ve posted over the years talking about Lent and Lent observance.
Before we begin, let me remind you that several of our Lent devotionals begin tomorrow—visit our Lent devotions page to sign up. (It’s not the end of the world if you sign up after Lent begins, but if you sign up now, you won’t miss any devotionals.)
- First, if you aren’t familiar with the church calendar (in which Lent features prominently), here’s a quick primer on the church calendar.
- What does it mean to observe Lent? Is it required by the Bible? If not, what’s the purpose of observing it? We tackle these questions and more in “How Can You Observe Lent?”
- Every year during Lent, people write us to ask if observing Lent and Easter is appropriate—after all, aren’t they based on ancient pagan holidays? Pastor Mel Lawrenz answers this in “Is Easter Based on a Pagan Holiday?”
Lastly, for anyone who’s still debating whether or not to observe Lent this year, let me leave you with a video message from author and speaker Sheri Rose Shepherd, who explains what you can gain during Lent:
We’ll be back later this week with more Lent thoughts and resources. In the meantime, whether you plan to observe Lent this year or not, we encourage you to devote some time this week to prayerful reflection and prayer as we look ahead to the miracle of Easter.