Skip to content

Day One: What exactly is Lent?

Matthew 4:1-2 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

If you’re like many Christians (including myself) you may not have been brought up practicing Lent. Of course, I had heard of it, but I didn’t know much about it, or whether it was something I should put into practice as a Protestant. 

What I’ve found is that Lent can be a useful time of observance and preparation for the celebration of Easter. While it isn’t practiced by all denominations, there are lessons we can learn from Lent, and this season help us grow closer to God in the process.

Where does the idea of Lent come from? 

In the Gospel of Matthew, we read about Jesus fasting for 40 days and 40 nights, which is where the idea of Lent originated. A practitioner of Lent will typically fast from something specific during the entire period. This sacrifice helps the practitioner remember the great sacrifice Christ made for us. Interestingly, what you choose to give up for Lent doesn’t have to be a food or drink item like you would in a traditional fast. Giving up social media or television is just as valid and might even be more meaningful as you start this journey. 

To be honest, I was unsure for many years about whether or not Lent was a spiritual practice I wanted to partake in. Yet, I’ve read countless times about stories of giving up something in order to gain a closer relationship with Christ and I decided I’d give it a try. As we set out on this Lenten journey together as newbies, I’m excited to join together with you and pray that it will be a time that brings us all closer to our Lord and Savior. 
Questions to think about: If you’ve decided to practice Lent, what is something you could select to fast from? What is your understanding of Lent? Is it something you’ve ever practiced before? 

About the Author