Lent and Easter Resources
Lent is a season of 40 days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday (February 22 in 2012) and ends on Holy Saturday (April 7, 2012). The 40 days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan. The word Lent comes from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning Spring.
Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others. Each Sunday in Lent represents a mini-Easter so the Sundays are not counted as part of the 40 days.
Help for the Journey
United Methodist Communications offers a Journey to Hope, a Lenten series that begins with Christ's journey to the cross and connects with matters like relationships, money, work and suffering to share the hope that exists beyond life's most difficult issues. Resources are available for small groups, children and youth. An online component will allow people to connect with others on the journey through Rethinkchurch.org.
The Society for St. Andrew, a United Methodist-related anti-hunger ministry, also offers a number of Lenten resources, including a daily online devotional. They invite congregations or individuals to participate in a program of spiritual reflection, prayer and giving. The plan challenges readers to take seriously the scriptural injunction to care for the poor, while providing an opportunity to feed our hungry brothers and sisters.
Click here for links to other devotional resources, family resources, worship resources, study guides and ways to take action.