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What should we do with Lent? Forty daily suggestions.

February 17, 2010 No Comment

Lent is a time of soul-searching and repentance. The forty-day observance recalls the forty days Christ spent in the desert “being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended Him” (Mark 1:13).

In earlier times, Christians, especially monks, nuns and others living in church institutions practiced various spiritual disciplines. They believed their work before God earned their ongoing salvation. As a priest, Luther never believed he did enough to earn God’s forgiveness. Once he discovered that salvation was God’s gift, by grace, through faith, his struggle for self-righteousness ended.

Luther also knew that, despite our forgiveness, we still sin. Through the Holy Spirit’s power in the Word and Sacraments, God patiently works, sanding down spiritual rough edges, refining and polishing us so that we may better reflect Him to our world. We call this process sanctification—“fix[ing] our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

Scripture does not speak of Lent, and in our current culture it is minimized or even ignored. To help you focus on the forty days of Lent, download these forty daily suggestions. Some will involve action or sacrifice, others repentance, but all require a humble spirit before God as we rely on His strength.

 May these simple suggestions bring new meaning to the season.