Second, I did not grow up in a church that celebrated specific dates on the Christian calendar like Lent. I was a baptist. We celebrated Easter and Christmas. That was it. Almost my entire life has been spent attending baptist churches. Until about eight years ago, if you had asked me what Lent was, I would have told you it was the stuff I cleaned out of my dryer. At my previous church, one of my youth workers introduced me to the concept of Lent. Each year as a youth group, we discussed Lent on Ash Wednesday and the students were given an opportunity to reflect on preparing for Easter.
For many, preparing for Easter is much less important than preparing for Christmas. Yet, for the Christian, Easter may be the most important day of the year. It is the day we celebrate the resurrection of our Savior, the hope of all mankind. Traditionally, people give up something for Lent. I always joke that I'm going to give up vegetables for Lent. But giving up something reminds us of the sacrifice that Christ made on our behalf. I know people who have given up a certain food or drink, or a specific meal during the week, or television. Whatever it may be, it's something that they do regularly. The 'sacrifice' then serves as a regular reminder of the ultimate sacrifice.
It's also common during Lent to make a commitment to do something that will remind us of Christ's mission on Earth. Serving somewhere (i.e soup kitchen, homeless shelter, school, etc.) or doing something (i.e. reading a specific passage of Scripture, having a special prayer time, etc) that you don't normally do can refocus and refresh us as well as prepare our hearts for the Easter celebration.
How will you prepare?
Peace - Jamie
PS - If you're not sure what Lent is, check out this out.