What Lent Does

Today’s Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.

What does Lent do?

The spare and sober nature of Lent is healthy for the heart and true to the gospel, scrubbing away frothy spirituality by calling us to say no to ourselves in order to experience a greater yes in Jesus. It helps to imprint the form of the cross in our lives, recognizing that the news of the risen Lord Jesus is not good without the way of the cross. Lent prepares us to experience the reality of resurrection joy only by first recognizing the depth of our sin that pinned Christ to the cross.

—Philip Reinders, Seeking God’s Face: Praying the Bible Through the Year (pp. 233-234).

(Read also Trinity House’s brief apologetic on why we should have Ash Wednesday services.)

Lent: Why Bother?

Ash Wednesday kicks off the Lenten season next Wednesday, March 4.

Here are five helpful Lent resources:

  1. Elliot Grudem and Bruce Benedict ask “Why Bother With Lent?”
  2. John Witvliet of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship suggests a yes and no approach to Lent.
  3. Christ Church (Austin, TX) produced this daily Lenten devotional of various prayers and Scripture readings. (Note: it was formatted for 2013, but one could easily reformat it for 2014).
  4. A Reformed Anglican in the US asks why we should consider Lent
  5. Cardiphonia compiled a helpful one-stop site for all things Lent (articles, music, liturgy and art).