Today, as in the past, THE HEART OF LENT is inner penitence and reconciliation with God

Lent prepares us so we may fulfill the promises of Easter.


RECONCILIATION WITH GOD involves:

  • Sorrow for sins ~ Changing your life begins when you admit that Christ suffered and died for your sins.
  • Spiritual Growth~ Christian Maturity begins when you acknowledge dependence on God.  Resolve to accept and carry out His will.
  • Commitment ~ Realize that commitment to God is more than just going to church - it involves carrying out God's will daily, whatever the circumstances.
  • Perseverance ~ Keep your hope and faith in Easter's Promises alive all year long, every year.  Realize that Christians of every age have experienced times of testing and overcome temptation and despair.

Fasting

During Lent, Christians should try to observe some form of fasting.

For Christians, Lenten fasting has a special meaning:  it recalls the time Christ suffered and died to redeem humanity.

"The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast." ~ Matthew 9:15


Special Commitments

This means giving up something for a greater good.

Self-denial should be a positive act.  Forgo some secular activities during Lent to make time for reading, studying, meditating, and helping others through church or charitable activities.

"If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." ~ Matthew 16:24


Good Deeds and Almsgiving

These consist of self-sacrifice to serve and benefit others.

Christ and his apostles spent their lives serving others, caring for the sick and comforting the friendless and afflicted.

Christ instructed His followers to do good for spiritual rewards, not for human recognition.

"Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in Heaven." ~ Matthew 6:1


Prayer and Reflection

Prayer means speaking with God in spiritual communion.  Reflection means examining your life seriously and thoughtfully.

Lent offers a good opportunity to withdraw from the busy world and pray and reflect quietly.

"But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you." ~ Matthew 6:6


Christian Study

This means reading God's word and reflecting on how it transforms lives.

Studying Christ's life and death can bring new meaning and relevance to events that may sometimes seem very distant from today's world.

Christ urged His followers not to be complacent, but to actively pursue faith.

"Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you." ~ Matthew 7:7


Church Activities

Special worship services are held throughout Lent, especially during Holy Week.

Lenten worship services that involve the whole church community enhance a sense of FELLOWSHIP AND JOYFUL HOPE.

The presence of Christ can be felt strongly at these times.

"For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them." ~ Matthew 18:20


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Traditional Lenten Practices

First Presbyterian Church of Bismarck

Season of Lent