Matt Chandler: Here's Why Lent Still Matters | RELEVANT Magazine

Editor’s be aware: This piece initially ran in 2017.

Within the six weeks between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, Christians around the globe observe the season of Lent.

Nevertheless, in lots of trendy Christian circles, working towards Lentthrough fasting or giving up sure gadgets or actions in day-to-day lifehas fallen out of favor.

We not too long ago spoke with creator and pastor Matt Chandler about Lent, its historical past, why Christians ought to participate in it and how one can make it part of your life main as much as Eastereven if its new to you.

For individuals who have a floor degree understanding of Lent, are you able to describe what the season of Lent is and the way historically numerous Christians have used it as a time for a extremely non secular train?

Lent is the 40 days main as much as Easter weekend. So these 40 days have traditionally been utilized by the Church to quick from one factor, or one thing completely different per week, relying on the way you method it. Its a manner of attempting to orient or reorient the season across the coronary heart across the coming of Christs loss of life and resurrection. The purpose is a reorienting of our hearts across the actuality that Christ has died for our sins and He resurrected from the grave as proof that every one of our sin has been absolutely freely and ceaselessly paid for in His life, loss of life and resurrection.

What are a few of the misconceptions that Christians have about Lent?

I feel they know so little about what it’s, besides perhaps from a Catholic pal again in highschool or some understanding in school of Fats Tuesday or seeing a pal with the ashes on his or her head on Ash Wednesday. By and enormous evangelicals dont perceive or recognize the Church calendar, or actually an understanding that all through Scripture and all through human historical past God has used feast, quick and festivals to form His folks.

For evangelicals the thought is, Hey, learn your Bible, pray slightly bit and youre going to be absolutely fashioned. However I simply suppose thats an actual anemic view of issues. Though I definitely wouldnt need to take something away from the sufficiency of the Scriptures, I simply suppose that the scriptures train in regards to the sure seasons and rhythms we should always give ourselves over to.

I grew up in a convention the place a few of these outward non secular workouts had been rejected as a result of we didnt need to come throughout as too pious or overly non secular or legalistic. However on the subject of Lent, why is that this overcorrection an incorrect posture to take?

As a result of I feel that any non secular self-discipline might be taken and emptied of its goal of connecting us in a really actual sense bodily, spiritually, emotionally and mentally to our God. If youre doing Lent to the place it truly is a public show of your individual piety, then I feel youre doing Lent incorrectly. I take into consideration Jesus encouragement to while you fastyou put oil on, you wash your face as a result of weren’t attempting to contort or distort our our bodies had been simply attempting to orient our souls.

Any of the non secular disciplines might be made to be empty and rote, and you may say, Oh man, theyre simply attempting to look a sure manner. However at that time, youre starting to evaluate the individuals coronary heart, and, man, Im simply going to be actual cautious of not giving my brothers and sisters the good thing about the doubt.

What’s it particularly about Lent that represents one thing in regards to the nature of the resurrection and the crucifixion and the character of Christ?

A part of what youre doing in Lent is giving up one thing thats desirous in your coronary heart so that you simply would possibly in a really possible way start to get your thoughts round Christ giving up His life for us. Its such a small factor however I feel it may be such a profound factor, like fasting itself. As we really feel hungry in our bellies, our hearts are reminded that we now have a better starvation and we take these moments of breakfast, lunch, dinner or no matter and use them to cry outmuch life David does within the Psalmsfor the Lord to be our portion, for a need to hunt Him and know Him like a deer pants for water, to have a soul that longs for Him and hungers for Him.

Lent is that course of.

Lent is constructed on the thought of fasting from one thing, and also you point out that it helps reorient us as a result of had been consistently reminded of wants, not simply bodily but in addition spiritually. Do you suppose fasting is one thing Christians may benefit from not simply in Lent, however incorporating extra into a daily a part of their non secular lives?

I definitely imagine so and weve taught that manner for years. I feel that weaving into your rule or rhythm of life common seasons of fasting to remind you in a deeper manner of wanting a better longing and zeal for the Lord is only a good factor to weave into life. We function with an understandingkind of a rule of lifewhen you consider your pursuit of Christ and you consider that yearly, and you consider it month-to-month, and you consider it each day, what does it seem like so that you can be critical about making Christ your treasure and longing to grasp and develop in a data of Him?

If I consider my very own life and rhythms right here on the Village Church. We do Creation right here. We lay earlier than our folks the chance to do Lent. We do a Good Friday service. We have now a block in January the place we’re prayerful across the social points round our day that we expect are important. We give ourselves over to worship and prayer within the month of January. And these are rhythms that we attempt to set up on the church, so these can be annual rhythms. After which there are month-to-month rhythms and weekly rhythms and each day rhythms and all the best way all the way down to hourly rhythms that we need to weave into our lives to maintain earlier than us a need to know and love Jesus all of the extra.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;} js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = ""; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));