Thomas Watson (1620-1686) wrote, ‘The more we enjoy of God, the more we are ravished with delight.’
This is why I’m inviting you to take part in observing Lent, a season where we focus our attention on the life of Jesus as he makes his way towards the cross. Lent is a season of preparation as we move towards Good Friday and Easter, remembering Jesus’ death for our sins and his victory over the grave. It is a season to renew the intentionality of the gospel in everyday life as we reacquaint ourselves with the rhythms of repentance and faith.
For some, Lent becomes nothing more than empty ritual or religious performance. For us, it’s an opportunity to explicitly and emphatically focus our hearts, minds and live on the perfect life of Jesus.
I want to encourage you to use this study guide, created by The Village Church in Dallas, TX, to guide you through the seven weeks of Lent. Each week will include a reading from the life of Christ in the Gospel of Luke, as well as four supplemental passages to consider throughout the week. Additionally, there is a suggested fast to coincide with each week.
Each Sunday, you should read the provided passage from the life of Christ and also consider journaling, discussing, praying through and re-reading the narrative and supplemental texts throughout the week. This process will hopefully stir up a few questions:
1. What do these passages of Scripture reveal about the nature and character of Christ?
2. What do these passages reveal about your own heart?
3. How can you respond to God’s provision in His Son and Spirit in light of your own deficiency?
As Lent is not intended to be pursued merely on Sundays, this guide is not intended to be picked up one day a week. We can only truly enter into the tradition of Lent by establishing a rhythm of consistency. You are encouraged to spend time considering how and when you will pursue the joyful disciplines of reading, praying, meditating and fasting during the season.
I’m looking forward to this season in the life of our church. I hope you’ll take advantage of the opportunity to ‘look to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God’ (Hebrews 12:2).