What is Lent?

Feb 11, 2024    Anthony Delgado

The ancient Christian practice of Lent is an exercise to help build spiritual muscle. Lent is a time of preparation. It is not a celebration, but rather a preparation for the celebration of Easter.

The number 40 is significant. Lent consists of fasting for 40 days - following the pattern in the Bible. The number Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness to prepare for the devil's temptations. Lent is also patterned on Moses and the Israelites’ wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. The 40 years in the wilderness was a sacrifice that prepared the Israelites for their New Life in the Promised Land. The 40-day flood was a preparation for new life on the earth.

Following that pattern, the 40-day fast of Lent prepares us to celebrate the new life we have been given in Christ. Lent is not just about what is given up. Alongside giving up something, you are to give/gain something as well. This can be almsgiving, tithes/offering, care for each other, extra devotion to religious exercise.