Day 2

An Apology for Lent

from the Lent 2016 reading plan

Psalm 78:1-7, Habakkuk 2:3, Galatians 4:4-5, Colossians 2:6-17

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead.
– 2 Timothy 2:8a ESV

The grand narrative of God’s Word through history is more than a tall tale. It is a historical record of real events with real people in real places and in real time. Indeed, as Paul makes plain in his letter to the church at Corinth, if Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection did not actually take place in time and space, then all is lost. We of all people are most to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:19).

God not only authored the Bible’s true story, He’s its lead actor. Behind the flood, the call of Abraham, the Exodus, the rise of King David, the exile and return of Israel, and every other redemptive act—God is present and the prime mover. On every page of the Bible, God is the hero of the story. As the author and hero of redemption, God calls His people to remember the great things He has done (Deuteronomy 8:1-3).

One of the means God used to stir the mind and imaginations of His people to remembrance was a calendar. From the Day of Atonement to the weekly Sabbath, to the annual feasts and festivals, God calendared salvation history in order to help the prone-to-forgetfulness Israelites relive their redemption each year (Leviticus 23).

Rightfully so, the shadow of the Old Testament calendar faded in the bright light of Christ’s fulfillment (Colossians 2:16-17). Although God issued no new calendar requirement for the New Testament church, He gave His people the freedom to order their days while maintaining the commitment to remember the redemption of Jesus Christ (Romans 15:4-9, Galatians 3:1-4, Romans 6:5-11, 2 Peter 1:3-11).

Not as a biblical requirement but as a discipleship tool, the early church began marking the days by the life and ministry of Jesus (Advent to Ascension) and the life and ministry of His church (Pentecost to Ordinary Time). Many Christians throughout the centuries have kept the practice, finding it a helpful means of remembering and connecting to both the life of Christ and the reality of His church, reaching around the world and across generations.

In that spirit, we invite you to join us for the forty days of Lent, as we read Scripture and prayerfully prepare for the heartbreaking and heart-mending climax of the Christian year—the crucifixion and resurrection of our Savior.

Written By Nate Shurden 

Post Comments (46)

46 thoughts on "An Apology for Lent"

  1. Jon C. says:

    He is everlasting through all past and furtive generations. His parables are for current times as well as past and future times and they will be told. God was and is intentional from the start.

  2. Jon C. says:

    It is relevant through the ages. It is rooted in Christ.

    Though Paul is correct in saying: “if Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection did not actually take place in time and space, then all is lost. We of all people are most to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:19).”

  3. Jon C. says:

    Thankfulness that Christ chose me to be part of His family. For patience and grace for when I am anxious – which is all the time. To ask for Jesus to heal me of my anxiousness and worry about things I don’t have control of but want to control. For healing of my cynicism particularly at work.

  4. Jon C. says:

    To be like Christ we need to be rooted in Him. ‘Our flesh’ was put off when we accepted Christ…but we are weak and forgetful and need to keep seeking Christ.

  5. Jon C. says:

    By sticking through this lent devotional to Easter, continually seeking and praying to Christ, reading God’s word with anticipation, and answering these questions every day to help me remember what I read.

  6. Curt Merlau says:

    We easily forgot and need reminders. Man is impatient and can easily stray.

  7. Curt Merlau says:

    It’s redemptive power and consistent theme. It’s instruction to live in the fullness of Christ.

  8. Curt Merlau says:

    That He is unwavering through time. He is relentless in His pursue and steadfast in His promises. He is after our full attention and recognition. He wants us to be freed from the flesh and to understand our brokenness

  9. Curt Merlau says:

    Understanding and accepting my limits. Claim the truth of the Gospel and love as I have been freed from the flesh and circumcised by the Spirit.

  10. Jeremy Morin says:

    Ever vigilant, God sent his son to save us.

    To save us.

    That’s a powerful and impactful sentence, as without it, we’d return simply to dust, separated forever from Him.

  11. Jeremy Morin says:

    Death to self daily. Multiple times a day. As often as it takes to remain focused on His goodness, and may desperation without Him.

  12. Jeremy Morin says:

    A creative God created a creative people. Let us be bold with our creativity in the ways we remember, ponder, and serve Christ.

  13. Jeremy Morin says:

    As God is the master craftsman of everything in this world, it should not be forgotten how creative and attentive a God we serve. He knows where we, as individuals and as a people, will fail, and accordingly instituted mechanisms to help us keep focused on Him amidst all the noise of the world.

  14. Jeremy Morin says:

    Father, words seem inadequate in thanking you for the constant reminders, the creative pursuance, the victory you’ve given me through Christ. Completely unworthy of your grace and mercy, I’m humbled by you. Please give me the strength, focus, courage, drive to fix my eyes on you first in all things.

  15. Joel Gardner says:

    While I was dead in my flesh, Jesus came. And the fullness of dirty dwelled in him. So that whoever trusts in Him would be made alive in him, in his resurrection from the dead. And freed from the condemnation of the law, that I once lived under. So now I am free to live in relation with God with no requirements on my behalf, Jesus fulfilled my requirements, that I never could, in his perfect obedience to the father during his life, death and resurrection.

  16. Joel Gardner says:

    God wants us to continually remind ourselves of his faithfulness to his word and what he has done for us, and who he is. And teach our children about him. He is faithful and has done mighty deeds.

  17. Joel Gardner says:

    By telling the Gospel to myself, family and friends daily. That there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.

  18. Joel Gardner says:

    Man is cursed under the law. I was dead in my sins, dead in the uncircumcision of my flesh. We easily forget Gods goodness and faithfulness and need daily/weekly/yearly reminders.

  19. Joel Gardner says:

    Thank you Father, you are all we need. You have won the victory, you have carried out your masterful plan and will take it to completion.

  20. Jeremy says:

    Too often I try to be in control of everything. Lord, help me to cast my worries upon you and let you carry my burdens so that I can follow and lead my family as you would have me to do.

  21. Steele Fredricksen says:

    This show me that God is so intentional with all He does. He sent his son to live a life that He desires for us to live by. He so deeply cares about us that much.

  22. Steele Fredricksen says:

    This teaches me that God has ordained all of this, intentionally providing us with tools to connect what He has done to the rest of the world. His church was formed to spread the gospel, and this is a perfect reminder of what the gospel is and how it is so powerful and moving.

  23. Steele Fredricksen says:

    We were put her for a reason, to life a life in sync with God and all that he has done as an example to us. We are creatures he’s made, adopted as His own, to live this life he has planned perfectly for us, and died so we can do so.

  24. Steele Fredricksen says:

    I will respond by thanking God for what He’s done. I will fall on my knees, knowing I am His, and I have a deep purpose. I will ask him to make His desires mine, and feel the reality of where I’ve fallen short.

  25. Steele Fredricksen says:

    I will pray for that hear-mending experience to form after realizing the heartbreak. I will pray He truly convicts me of where I’ve fallen short and gotten distracted. I will pray that I see the weight of our sins, and pray for my heart to become one with His.

  26. Gabe A says:

    God truly cares for us and wants us to succeed in Him. Our traditions are to remember what Jesus has done for us.

  27. Gabe A says:

    I will try my hardest to stick with this devotional and really find the meaning within every piece of tradition. I will look to God and God alone to help me with my fasting and repenting.

  28. Gabe A says:

    We can easily forget how great God is if we don’t continually read about Him and use tradition as a discipleship tool.

  29. Gabe A says:

    God has been there with us from the beginning. He was there in the Old Testament, New Testament, and now He wants us to realize that He is still with us. This season of remembrance will enable us to feel Gods presence with us more.

  30. Gabe A says:

    God I am thankful for what you have done for me and to honor your sacrifice, I will show you my repentance and my dedication to you. I ask that you would be with me in this season and help me with any temptations or strongholds that the enemy has placed before me. Let me see that you have won me over from my sins and let me serve you for the rest of my days.

  31. Mark says:

    We are forgetful but forgiven.

  32. Daniel says:

    God set forth a plan, a covenant throughout the generations to bring his Son; He is a God of promise, And of fulfillment.

  33. Daniel says:

    It was to set those free under the law; to usher in a new covenant.

  34. Daniel says:

    Man was chosen of God; the sending of God’s son was out of God’s love for man; God did not come for himself; He came to redeem those he loved.

  35. Daniel says:

    Praise and pursuit. Praise to the God he prepared our salvation throughout the generations; pursuit of those who still have not yet received and lived full of the power of Christ.

  36. Daniel says:

    Lord, open the paths before me to take your love into this broken, bound world; the love that spanned all time and generations; your covenant was is as real now as it was then; place it firmly in my heart and let me carry the Good News of your son into the darkness.

  37. Patrick Shen says:

    It comes alive when I contemplate it in the bigger context of disciplined structure remembrance. He will be , has been, and continues to be faithful in fulfilling his promises.

  38. Patrick Shen says:

    Man needs the discipline of remembrance to flourish.

  39. Patrick Shen says:

    A lot of what this season is about is repentance, reflection and patience in waiting,

  40. Patrick Shen says:

    I will give him time everyday. I will prod my own body, mind and spirit through sacrifice to remember what he has done.

  41. Patrick Shen says:

    Lord, help me to not half-ass my faith. I long to know you in the most real way possible. I confess that I am weak on my own. But you have blessed me with the mind, body and spirit to still myself and ponder you. So now I wait for you, and in the meantime I will draw what strength I have to place you first foremost in my mind during this Lenten season. I wait for you.

  42. Jeremy Davis says:

    We have a golden opportunity to learn discipline of our time by observing this season of lent. Man needs discipline and God disciplines those he loves.

  43. Jeremy Davis says:

    Jesus Christ not only came to die for us, but to teach us how to live in relationship with his Father. We observe his example and realize how much space Jesus mad in his calendar for time with God. Lent is about removing things we don’t really need and replacing them with what we really do need, more of Him.

  44. Jeremy Davis says:

    I will make more time in my day to sit at Jesus’ feet and learn from him. I will cut out the junk and allow Christ to fill every part of my life.

  45. Jeremy Davis says:

    God gives us a very real account of his life death and resurrection so that we don’t forget it. It is the single most important thing to Christianity: God became man, died in our place, and rose again. Lent is an opportunity to remember our dependence upon this miracle that God does in our hearts by taking our sins upon himself.

  46. Jeremy Davis says:

    Jesus, help me to never forget how much I need you. I am utterly dependent on you, your grace, your strength, and your victory in my life. I am so thankful for the example that you set for us, and want to live my life in a way that follows you closely!

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