What is Lent?
Lent is a forty-day-long journey through daily and sometimes hourly reminders of the gospel because our stomachs are hungry or our hearts are longing for something we seemingly can’t live without. Lent and the celebration of Easter focus our lives on the wonderful love of God in the gospel.
The Lenten themes are core to what it means to be a community that follows Jesus.
Each week you have the opportunity to lead your community to look upward to Jesus, inward at your own heart, and outward in what it means to live in light of the gospel. Lent is an opportunity to recenter your community on the gospel of Jesus. Every community will walk through lament, suffering, confusion, anger, confession, and praise. A focused season of Lent can equip your community for those journeys.
Share a common spiritual journey.
Typically, your community will only be together a few times throughout a week at best. Work, family, and the busyness of life diminish open time slots. However, even as you go throughout the city separately, you remain a community, a family of God.
The practice of Lent as a missional community reinforces your unity as you are separate. It provides a unifying experience through reading, praying, and fasting. Lent binds you together as you grow together in the same concerted direction. As you walk through the season together, your community’s engagement will move beyond, “How was work this week?” to, “How are you processing repentance? What did you think of that passage we read on Wednesday? How is fasting and praying?”
The gospel creates community and places us on mission.
Bottom line. A focus on Jesus and the gospel creates community. Community develops in Lent through re-learning repentance, remembering the example and challenge of Jesus’ humility, embracing and acknowledging suffering, the communal practice of lament, looking to the sacrifice of Jesus for our redemption, and experiencing the death and resurrection of Jesus. Lent and Easter turn our hearts upward but also place us on mission in the city. This season will open your eyes to the people around you.
Lent will shape your community.
Living Through Dying: A 6-Week Community Guide Through Lent, will lead your community through these questions:
- What would it mean for our community to foster humility like Jesus’?
- What would it look like for our community to lament the sin, destruction, and suffering in our city?
- What is God teaching us through this season? How are we changing? What are we learning about Jesus?
More than anything, we hope your community experiences greater intimacy with Jesus as you engage this Lenten season together.
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