Lent Starts Wednesday Morning, March 6, 2019. You know Fat Tuesday? Probably better known in the US as Marti Gras, Fat Tuesday is the culmination of three day long long festival of Carnival. This is an all-out celebration designed to get the party all of your system. Why? Because the Season of Lent starts at sunrise. Christians have been observing Lent for over a thousand years. Although popularly associated with the Catholic Church and other high church traditions, Lent is also a great opportunity for spiritual growth that many Protestants miss out on. The 40 days of Lent are patterned after Jesus’ 40 days of prayer and fasting in the desert (before he began his earthly ministry). Through this season of Lent, we have the opportunity to do three things. First, Lent gives us time for Sober Reflection. Where are you at in your relationship with God? Second, through Lent we are encouraged to take a 40-day time of Self-Examination. Are there areas of your life that you need to surrender to the Lordship of Christ? Finally, Lent can be a powerful time of Spiritual Redirection. Are you heading in the right direction spiritually, or do you need to step back and allow God to redirect your spiritual path towards Himself? Lent is a season of mourning marked by fasting and a renewed dedication to prayer. Through fasting, we have the opportunity to “give something up in order to focus more on God.” Traditionally, some would fast a meal during this time period. Some would observe Lent by dedicating themselves to a sacrificial prayer life. Still others would find ways to give to others though service. Today, observing Lent can take many forms. Some will fast something that is a stronghold in your life, such as soda pop or TV. Over the next 40 days, whenever these people find themselves “craving” that thing, let it be a reminder to you to instead, pray and focus your attention upon God. These 40 days are surrounded by two ceremonial observances – Ash Wednesday to Maundy Thursday. Maundy Thursday represents the day that Jesus ate the Passover Feast with His disciples (the first communion). Some traditions have decided that since Sunday is a day that we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, that we should not continue the mourning fast on Sundays. In those traditions, the fast ends on Easter to make up for the six days. So, considering observing Lent this year? You can do so in your own way. Traditionally, you can give up a meal, either everyday, once a week or even completely fast one whole day a week. Or, you can find something you enjoy every day, like coffee, and give that up. Your little sacrifice will remind you of Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice on the cross. You can take up a family Bible Study for six weeks or pull weeds at a neighbors house. However you observe Lent, I know the season will be focus your attention and make this Easter special. Want more information? Check out Season of Lent.