Just as Advent is the time before Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ,
Lent is the time before Easter, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. In this
case, they are quite similar. However, while Advent is full of celebrations
and public preparation, Lent is more a time of personal reflection on the
sacrifice of Jesus Christ and one's personal relationship with God.
The first day of Lent is "Ash Wednesday." There are special worship
services, reminding us of "the reason for the season," to borrow an Advent
phrase, and ashes are placed on the forehead in the shape of a cross. Traditionally,
these are ashes of the palm leaves waved on Palm Sunday the year before.
Many spend the time during Lent participating in Bible Studies, in
prayer, and doing activities that may help them focus on their spiritual
growth. Some fast during this time. It may be a time with more
meditation and prayer, seeking personal guidance perhaps.
During Lent, many sacrifice personal satisfactions or worldly activities as
a reminder of the sacrifice made for them. Others donate time, service,
or money to charity. Some combine these things. For instance, you
might give up eating lunch at a restaurant once a week and giving
the money saved to a worthwhile cause.
As we approach Easter, it is a good time to focus on your spiritual
relationship. I think of it as my "New Year's resolution" because I never
make one then. As you think about your own walk with God, you
may discover things that you want to work on in the future.
Lent and Easter
When is Easter?
When is Ash
(the first day of Lent)