How to Prepare for Lent

by Justin Fung on February 05, 2016

In five days, we'll celebrate Ash Wednesday together with an all-church service at 7pm at Chinese Community Church.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent, a time in the Christian calendar when we remember the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness before he began his public ministry. At Lent, we prepare ourselves for Easter, the time when we celebrate the most important event in history—Jesus’ death and resurrection.

There are a few practices that Christians throughout history and all over the world have done during the season of Lent; three of the key ones are fasting, praying, and giving to the poor. Likewise, this year, as a church, many of us will participate in these practices.

  • We'll be collecting donations for Central Union Mission, whom Chinese Community Church have been partnered with for many years.
  • We'll also have the opportunity to join with other churches in our city to pray for the church and for DC. Our friends at Christ Our Shepherd Church have prepared a Lenten prayer guide, with daily prayers. You can download it here. (Note that it's intended to be printed double-sided and put together as a booklet.)
  • Many of us may also choose to fast from various things: coffee, unhealthy foods, social media.

But to offer a gentle reminder: Lent isn't simply a season where we take the opportunity to get healthier or break bad habits, though those may be beneficial side-effects. The point of fasting can be to give up luxuries, to remind us that we don’t need the things that the world tells us we can’t do without; it can also about giving up some so-called necessities, to remind us that we don’t need the things we tell ourselves we can’t do without. But ultimately, the point of fasting is to remind us that there is only one thing we can’t do without—and that’s God.

As we prepare for the beginning of Lent, be thinking and praying about what God might be calling you to this season.

And we'll see you on Wednesday!

Tags: ash wednesday, easter, fasting, giving, lent, praying

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